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Nigeria to restart domestic flights July 8 in easing of coronavirus curbs

South Sudan NEWS PORTAL (JUBA CITY)

(FILES) File photo dated on September 11, 2007 shows the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI via Getty Images)

Nigeria will resume domestic flights from July 8, the government said on Wednesday, as Africa’s most populous country relaxes novel coronavirus restrictions despite mounting cases and deaths.

The airports for the capital Abuja and Lagos will open on July 8, while a handful of others are set to open July 11 and the rest on July 15, the government said on its official Twitter account.

No date was given for the resumption of international flights.

Nigeria had confirmed more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and almost 600 deaths as of Wednesday, with little sign of the outbreak slowing.

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Officials have expressed their concern that the outbreak in the West African country might become much worse.

Yet the government is keenly aware of the economic toll of the virus, which has crushed the price of oil, on which Nigeria depends. Officials have steadily eased measures aimed at curbing the outbreak, believing the economic damage of a stringent lockdown could be worse than the harm done by the pandemic.

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