The Nigeria High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, on Tuesday said that it had suspended passport processing for Nigerians in different Canadian communities, to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The commission said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the suspension was indefinite. It said that it would however continue to issue Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) and visas to applicants that needed to travel urgently.

“This measure is in line with the Canadian government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s guideline of ‘social distancing’ as a ‘community mitigation strategy’ to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“It is a conscious effort by government to reduce contact between people and hopefully stem community transmission of the virus. “Applicants for ETC and visas should, as usual, forward their applications by mail, attaching the relevant documents.

“The ETC or visa would be processed and mailed back to the applicants accordingly,” the statement read in part.

The commission therefore enjoined Nigerians in Canada to adhere to the COVID-19-related guidelines provided by Canadian health authorities in their communities. NAN reports that Canada recorded no fewer than 324 confirmed cases and four deaths from Coronavirus across the provinces on Monday.

The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada on Monday compelled Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to announce the closure of the country’s borders to non-citizens or non-permanent residents.

Canada’s new measure was however not directed at citizens of the United States, where about 4,482 confirmed cases and 86 fatalities from Coronavirus was reported on Tuesday. The U.S. has also shut its borders especially against European countries.



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