Nigeria issues travel ban on 13 countries over coronavirus

The announcement came as the authorities confirmed five new virus cases, bringing to eight the number so far tested positive in Africa's most populous nation of 200 million people.

Nigerian flag. Picture: Supplied

ABUJA - Nigeria on Wednesday issued a travel ban on citizens from 13 countries worst-hit by coronavirus.

The announcement came as the authorities confirmed five new virus cases, bringing to eight the number so far tested positive in Africa's most populous nation of 200 million people.

The government said on Twitter it "is restricting entry into the country for travellers from... China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, US, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

"These are all countries with over 1,000 cases domestically."

Nigeria said issuance of visas would be suspended to nationals of these nations, and Nigerians arriving from these countries would be quarantined for 14 days.

It also advised Nigerians to avoid travelling to the affected countries.

It said the restrictions would come into effect from Saturday and could be reviewed after a month.

Nigeria has also banned government officials from travelling out of the country until further notice.

The government has suspended a major national sport event, advised against public gatherings and stressed the need for public hygiene to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

The central bank on Monday approved a $135-million fund to support businesses hit by impacts of the virus.