The Lagos State Government has sent no fewer than 67 persons, who wanted to enter the country through the Seme border, into quarantine.
It was gathered on Monday that security agencies at the border town on Sunday detained the 67 persons, who were coming from Togo.
It was learnt that the security agencies handed over the 67 persons to the Lagos State Government, which had put them in 14 days quarantine.
A top security source at the Seme border, said the 67 persons, who were mostly Nigerians, attempted to enter the country on Sunday despite the closure of land borders.
It was gathered that samples of the 67 peoples would be taken for COVID-19 test and that they would be quarantined in Badagry for 14 days.
The security source said, “The Lagos State Government has already got some hotel accommodation around Badagry. These people will be housed in the hotels, which have no other guests. Their samples will be taken and they will be tested. They will be in quarantine for 14 days.
“Before the end of the 14 days, another test will be conducted on them. After 14 days, if they test negative for the virus, they will be allowed to go to their different destinations in the country. Anyone of them that tests positive will be moved to the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba for treatment.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr Sunday James, said the service had no information that 67 persons were stopped at Seme border from entering Lagos
James, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “There is nothing like that. I have contacted my official at the Seme border and he said there was nothing like that. I have called the controller at Seme border and he said there was nothing like that.”
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, had in a nationwide broadcast on March 29, ordered complete closure of land borders to human and vehicular traffic.
He ordered lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states for 14 days. According to him, the country’s airports, which were earlier shut, should remain closed.
On Monday, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, defended the Federal Government’s decision to bring 18 Chinese doctors into the country.
Ehanaire, at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press conference in Abuja, said Chinese doctors would come into the country despite the opposition of the Nigerian Medical Association.
The minister had on Friday said the Chinese team would come on board a Nigeria Air Force aircraft.
While objecting the plan, the NMA said the plan was demeaning to Nigerian health workers who had been in the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Chinese doctors, nurses to observe isolation, testing rules
Addressing some of the concerns raised by the NMA on the invitation of the Chinese experts, especially with regard to isolation of anyone coming to Nigeria from countries with high burden of COVID-19, the minister said that the Chinese would also be subjected to the national protocol guiding entry into Nigeria.
He said, “On Friday, I announced that an 18-man team of Chinese technical experts is expected in Nigeria with a consignment of globally scarce supplies to augment government effort and build capacity to curtail the outbreak.
“The equipment includes personal protective equipment and consumables, more than a million masks and intensive care unit ventilators. There is global competition for masks and ventilators with countries donating or swapping ventilators. It is gratifying that in the face of all these, we are able to get these supplies; even if we have the money, we would not have been able to order for them.
“The technical experts will comprise research doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and public health managers who will share their knowledge, skill and real life experience of fighting COVID-19 with Nigerian personnel.
“Anybody coming to this country will have to be subjected to the rules and regulations we have set. The experts coming, with all the valuable experience they are bringing and which we want to learn, will still be subjected to the rules we have established in the interest of our people. Even if they have done test in their country, we still have to do confirmatory test here.