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Singapore lifts travel ban on Nigeria, nine others

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Singapore on Monday lifted the travel ban imposed on Nigeria and nine other African countries over the new variant of the COVID-19 pandemic, Omicron.

The other countries are Botswana, Eswatini (former Swaziland), Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

In a statement issued by its Health Ministry, the South-East Asian nation said it expected a new wave of local cases soon given the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

The ministry added that passengers arriving in Singapore with travel history to the 10 countries within the last 14 days would come under the Category IV border measures.

The Singaporean government imposed a travel ban on Nigeria and the other affected countries over the discovery of the Omicron variant on December 3.

READ ALSO: Canada lifts travel ban on Nigeria, nine others

The statement read: “In the coming days and weeks, we should expect more community (local) cases and rapid doubling of cases. This is again a process we need to go through, in order to live with COVID-19.

“However, the peak of the wave can be blunted and we can avoid overwhelming our healthcare system again if everyone plays their part to get their vaccinations and booster doses, self-test regularly and self-isolate if tested positive.

“In particular, those who have recently arrived from overseas or been in contact with an infected person should reduce their social interactions.

“We have done whatever we can to prepare ourselves for it; especially in administering boosters to our population and starting vaccinations for our children. We seek the cooperation and understanding of everyone, as we weather through an Omicron wave in the next one to two months.

“Instead of being isolated in dedicated facilities by default, Omicron cases will be placed on home recovery or treated at community care facilities depending on their clinical presentation.”

“With the new measures, travellers with links to Nigeria and other listed countries must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within two days before departure to Singapore, as well as an on-arrival PCR test. They will also have to serve a 10-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. Another PCR test will be administered at the end of their quarantine period.”

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