A Boeing 737 Max. An Air Canada 737-8 Max has been forced to land in Tucson after the air crew diverted the Arizona-to-Montreal flight because of an engine issue. Silvio Avila-AFP-Getty Images

The President of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria, Professor Oladapo Ashiru, has advised the Federal Government to shut the country’s international airports for at least two weeks, in order to avert a third wave of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

Prof. Ashiru, who was a guest on ARISE TV flagship programme “The Morning Show” on Tuesday, noted that the COVID-19 third wave could be very imminent and could also prompt a very disastrous situation for Nigeria.

According to him, “The third wave could be very imminent and that is a very disastrous situation and that is why we are raising this alarm now so that government should do something.”

“When you ignore science, you do that at your own peril and we are telling government to do something to ensure that they can control the influx from India.

“This people now are going to come back from their vacation, they’ve gone for this holiday to celebrate this festival and they are coming back into the country and some of them are even able to bribe their way through different situations.”

He stated further that, “If we do not make sure that when they come back that we have a module to control to ensure that they are quarantined and they do genuine tests to ensure that they are negative before they can go into the community, we’ll have a problem in our hands.

“That strain that they have is a very violent strain as you can see the manifestations. This current strain, which is a mutated strain is difficult and we think it could be a triple mutation in which the protein that is carrying the virus is able to alter regularly. So these are the things that we need to do to stem it off, if we do not do it we’ll have problems in our hands.”

The Academy had on Sunday, issued an urgent advisory, where it noted that the ongoing transmission in the country was caused largely by those inbound passengers from India and those countries with surges in the cases reported daily.

Prof. Ashiru noted that many of these Indians travelled into Nigeria through indirect flights, but recommended that Nigeria’s testing strategy should still be PCR-based.

He recommended that Nigeria should close the international airports to all flights for at least two weeks, stressing that the third wave was affecting not only India but France, Germany, and Italy.

He also urged the federal government to be proactive, adding that, “Nigeria cannot afford to have a third wave.”

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