Omicron: Saudi Arabia suspend flights from Nigeria

NEWS DIGEST – Saudi Arabia authorities have suspended flights coming from Nigeria into the kingdom due to the outbreak of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

An official of the Saudi embassy in Nigeria who did not want his name mentioned because he was not authorized to interface with the media, said the Kingdom took the decision to prevent the further spread of the new infection.

Saudi recorded her index case of Omiron from a passenger returning from North Africa. Saudi’s temporary restriction also came when Nigeria equally confirmed her fifth case of the new variant.

A reliable source from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) also confirmed the temporary suspension of passengers coming into the Kingdom from Nigeria.

The source, who disclosed that NAHCON is still expecting official communication from the Saudi authority regarding the new travel restriction, however, insisted the measure would not hamper the commission’s preparation for 2022 hajj.

A tour operator in Kano, Abdulrazaq Muslima told The Guardian that information available to him regarding the travel restriction was sketchy.

Abdulrazaq said that it would be too early to act on the available information because two flights including Qatar and Badar airways departed Abuja early Wednesday for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

However, another travel agent in Kano, Abdulazeez Sabitu, who also confirmed the development, said the Saudi airline has sent a circular to tour all travel agents in Kano conveying the flight restriction order.