Travellers evading COVID-19 test will be sanctioned ~Lagos Govt

Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Incoming passengers who shun the Federal Government’s guidelines against COVID-19 have been warned to stop it or face the consequences.

The Lagos State government issued the warning on Friday in a statement jointly signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, and the Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi.

It explained that this was necessary to protect residents against the fatal effects of the reversal of the gains made against the pandemic, which are loss of lives, livelihood, and economic hardship.

“It has been reported severally through notification from Port Health Services, NCDC, the Lagos State Biobank and Accredited Private Laboratories carrying out COVID-19 tests that inbound passengers arriving Nigeria are breaching the COVID-19 protocols.

“We have on good authority that some passengers, having registered and paid for COVID-19 test have failed to report to assigned private laboratories after completion of their seven days isolation,” the statement said.

It added, “Some incoming passengers even failed to register and pay for the test altogether whilst making their journey to the country in total disregard and breach of the safety protocols.

“Likewise, a large number of international passengers provided wrong information and contact details while registering online, making it difficult for them to be reached, traced, or contacted by our logistics team.”

According to the government, the action of such people is worrisome and portends danger for public health and safety as the populace stands the risk of infecting unsuspecting patients.

It stated that it would not fold its arms and watch the gains made against the disease to be reversed by the irresponsibility of those who choose to flagrantly disregard COVID-19 guidelines.

The government said it was ready to take action against people who flout the protocols, noting that it has reported the trends to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

It added that the PTF has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service to take action against travellers who breach the travel protocols and guidelines.

“The Federal Government through the Immigration Service is compiling names and passport numbers of returned passengers who are yet to present themselves for the PCR test.

“We wish to advise those who fall within this category to rethink their decision and present themselves for the test within one week to avoid deactivation of their passport,” the statement said.
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