The Presidential Steering Committee(PSC) on COVID-19 has banned over 2,000 Nigerians and foreigners from travelling abroad and into the country for evading the Coronavirus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at the country’s international airports, for one year.
The national incident manager of the PSC, Mukhtar Muhammad, disclosed this at a briefing on Monday in Abuja.
Mr Muhammad explained that the names of over 2,000 citizens and foreigners had been pasted at major federal medical facilities designated to give care to Nigerians and foreigners that had travelled into the country during the COVID-19 third wave.
He said the government had insisted that passengers, who arrived into the country, especially from high-risk countries, must be quarantined in a government-provided facility.
The passports of those who failed to comply with the protocol have been suspended for one year.
“We have included the provision of quarantine for passengers who arrived from high-risk countries, and people who evaded these protocols have been penalised by publishing their names, as well as suspending their passports for one year,” Mr Muhammad. “Let me assure you that so far, we have published the list of over 2,000 people who evaded quarantine in our health facilities. We have gone ahead to ensure that their passports are suspended.”
On May 1, 2021, the PSC issued a travel advisory for passengers from Brazil, India, and Turkey arriving in Nigeria.
According to the chairman, Boss Mustapha, the precautionary measures were necessary to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population.
Under the measures, passengers arriving from or who have visited any of the countries within 14 days before the visit to Nigeria must follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.
But many passengers failed to observe the compulsory isolation or present themselves for the PCR repeat test on day seven, various findings have shown.
The PSC had previously also published names and passport numbers of defaulters.