• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Covid-19: Lagos to deactivate passports of defaulters of inbound travel rule

Covid-19: Lagos to deactivate passports of defaulters of inbound travel rule

Defaulters of inbound Covid-19 travel rule will now face deactivation of their passports for a year if they fail to present themselves for day two and day Seven PCR tests as mandated by the federal COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for Health said the passport details of flouters will be forwarded to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Immigration Department, in a statement released by the Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Health.

According to a data analysis by the state, only about 20 percent of inbound passengers who pay for the COVID-19 PCR tests prior to their arrival in Lagos actually present for the tests on a required day at designated laboratories.

It was also discovered that a significant number of inbound passengers who actually do the tests on the designated days tested positive.

“If they don’t self-isolate they pose a serious threat to the state’s ability to manage the fourth wave. To protect the rest of our citizens from this irresponsible behaviour, the Lagos State Government is taking some decisive actions. We have started contacting all those that have not done their Day two and Day seven tests by text messages. These messages are not a scam. We advise that if you receive such a message please respond and present yourselves before the mobile court to explain why you did not do the Day two or Day seven PCR tests as required. If we are unable to reach you by SMS, it implies that you have given us false information on your data forms, this in itself is also an offense,” the statement read.

The Commissioner further disclosed that the state government has started contacting the defaulting passengers and patients for arraignment before a mobile court for special offenses.

Abayomi explained that defaulting recalcitrant persons who flout the testing and isolation guidelines has been ongoing for a while and is responsible for previous waves of infection in Lagos.

He said the alarming trend of defaulters constitutes a state and national public health and security threat and sabotages all efforts to mitigate and reduce the impact of the fourth wave on citizens and the economy of the state.

According to him, inbound passengers are likely to be carrying new variants of COVID-19 whose clinical implications and impact are not yet clearly understood amongst the population.

“In addition, unvaccinated inbound passengers and anyone testing positive for COVID-19 are mandated to self-isolate at home for seven days. We will be sanctioning anyone found to be disregarding these guidelines, which are designed to minimize the community transmission of COVID and its variants,” it said.