Airports in Nigeria will not be reopened on April 23rd as earlier scheduled. Instead, they will remain shut for two more weeks, a statement from the Ministry of Aviation said on Monday.
“As a result of the extension on lockdown by Mr President, it is no longer possible for us to open our airspace and airports for normal operations by the 23rd April 2020,” the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, was quoted as saying in a statement by the Director of Public Affairs in the ministry, James Odaudu.
President Buhari had on Monday, April 13 extended a lockdown in Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital territory Abuja by two weeks.
Ahead of the lockdown, the international airports in the country had been shut as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Despite pushing back the reopening of the airports in view of the lockdown extension, the aviation minister said the decision is subject to review as appropriate.
The minister appealed to air travellers and all stakeholders in the aviation industry to see the current situation as sacrifices necessary to safeguard the health and well-being of the people, with the hope that the pandemic will be short-lived.
Since Nigeria recorded its first COVID-19 case on February, infections in the country have risen to 627 with a record 86 cases confirmed on April 19. A total of 21 people have lost their lives while 170 people have recovered from the virus.
The pandemic has disrupted daily life with schools across the countries shut, lockdowns and movement restrictions in several states as the government races against time to flatten the curve.