By Chinyere Amalu
ABUJA â€” The Federal Government yesterday assured Nigerians that the outbreak of swine flu in the country did not restrict movement of immigrants in and out of the country.
The Federal Ministry of Health in a statement signed by Special Assistant (Communication) to the Minister, Mr. Niyi Ojuolape, said ven though the country had one confirmed case, â€œwe hasten to state categorically that in line with WHO International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), there is no travel restriction into or out of Nigeria, as a result of the occurrence of the influenza in Nigeria.â€
The statement read in part: â€œFurther to the official confirmation of the first case of influenza A/H1N1 in the country in a nine-year-old American girl residing in Lagos two days ago, we have been informed that there are concerns about the free movement of immigrants in and out of the country.
â€œAny person can come into the country once he or she has a valid entry document especially since there are appropriate surveillance and safeguard measures being taken at our ports of entry.â€
The Federal Government, however, assured Nigerians that with the cooperation of all stateâ€™s ministries of health and the partners, specific measure had been put in place to enhance surveillance in case of any outbreak.
â€œWe wish to re-emphasize the fact that the girl involved recovered fully and is well and back to school. All the contacts at home or at school are also well and free from the influenza pandemic.
â€œVery importantly also, the Federal Government and all the statesâ€™ Ministries of Health together with our partners have put in place efficient and strengthened preparedness and response plans in addition to enhanced surveillance to pick up and contain any other case that may occur.
â€œWe want to again reassure all Nigerians that they do not need to panic and that the ministry together with our partners are on top of the situation making sure that all Nigerians are protected from the pandemic,â€ it added.