MAIDUGURI, Nigeria

Nigeria on Thursday announced it would resume international flights starting Sept. 5 as it registers new cases of the novel coronavirus.

Musa Nuhu, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), made the announcement in an update by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Nigeria had previously said it would resume flights abroad “anytime” from Aug. 29.

Nuhu said a simulation exercise for the resumption had been carried out on Thursday with 102 passengers from Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, the nation’s commercial hub, to Paris under measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Incoming passengers to the country must carry a document that certifies they tested negative for the virus, he added.

Nigeria shut down flights at its five international airports on March 24 following the virus outbreak.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country hit 53,021 on Thursday, with 40,281 recoveries and 2,010 reported deaths, according to an update by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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