For dodging the Coronavirus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at the country’s international airports, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has barred over 2,000 Nigerians and foreigners from flying abroad and into the country for a year.
Mukhtar Muhammad, the Presidential Steering Committee’s (PSC) National Incident Manager (NIM), revealed this at the PSC’s Monday briefing in Abuja.
Muhammad stated that the names of over 2,000 nationals and foreigners were pasted at all major federal medical facilities where medical professionals were assigned to provide care to Nigerians and foreigners who entered the country during the COVID-19 third wave.
He claimed that the government had mandated that travellers arriving in the country, particularly from high-risk countries, be quarantined in a government-run facility, and that those who did not follow the protocol had their passports revoked for a year.
“We added the provision of quarantine for travellers arriving from high-risk nations, and those who disobeyed these regulations were sanctioned by having their identities published and their passports suspended for a year.
“Let me assure you that we have released the names of more than 2,000 people who have eluded quarantine in our health facilities so far. And we’ve gone ahead and suspended their passports, so there are consequences for every action,” he said.
According to reports, the PSC issued a Travel Advisory for Passengers Arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India, and Turkey on May 1, 2021.
According to the chairman, Boss Mustapha, the preventive steps were necessary to reduce the possibility of importation of worrisome variants and breaking the chain of transmission to the people.
Passengers arriving from/or visiting any of these three countries within fourteen (14) days of their visit to Nigeria were expected to adhere to mandatory arrival quarantine and testing requirements in designated facilities under the measures.
However, according to various studies, many passengers failed to comply with the mandatory isolation or show up for the PCR repeat test on day seven.
Defaulters’ names and passport numbers had previously been made public by the PSC.