Abuja — The Academy of Medicine Specialties, together with its Rapid-Response initiative group, has advised the federal government to shut the country’s international airports for at least two weeks to avoid the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an urgent advisory issued yesterday, the President of the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, noted that the transmission of the third wave was still active but at a low level.

Ashiru said the low level transmission was due largely to the lockdowns going on in Europe and some countries.

He further stated that the ongoing transmission in the country was caused largely by those inbound passengers from India and those countries with surges in the cases reported daily.

According to him, many of them travelled into Nigeria through indirect flights.

He recommended that Nigeria’s testing strategy should still be PCR-based.

shiru, however, added that some other Genes should be looked out for aside from the ‘S’ gene.

“There is the urgent need to enforce the use of PTF regulations of social distancing, hand sanitisers/washing and wearing of face mask,” he said.

He reported that his team found five sequences of the India B.1.617 in the country, specifically in Edo and Osun states, adding that a new B.1. 1.318 variant that emerged in Nigeria with major characteristics of other VOCs was spread out of the country in January this year and was creating havoc in Mauritius Island.