The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) has declared 108 passengers who arrived from Brazil, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India, Persons Of Interest (POI) for violating COVID-19 quarantine protocol.
The PSC chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the persons arrived in Nigeria between May 8 and 15, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after the new regulations had been put in place.
Mustapha noted that on May 1, 2021, the PSC issued a travel advisory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India and Turkey, saying that ”these precautionary measures are necessary steps to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population
“Under the new measures, passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries within 14 days prior to the visit to Nigeria, are required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.
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“The PSC has, however, observed that while most of the arriving passengers dutifully observed the guidelines, some Nigerians and Foreigners have violated them in contravention of the provisions of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Regulations Protection, 2021.”
The SGF said that all the 108 passengers “have been declared Persons of Interest (POI)” as they posed a considerable danger to overall public health.
He said they are POI also for violating Nigeria COVID-19 travel protocol by evading the mandatory seven-day quarantine for persons arriving from restricted countries.
“Members of the public are by this notice advised that these persons of interest constitute an immediate health hazard to the society.
”They must therefore transport themselves safely to the nearest state public health departments within 48 hours of this notice for immediate evaluation,” he said.
Mustapha said Nigerians should also call the Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health, on 08036134672 or 08032461990 for further directions.
He said that the PSC should, in addition, take further steps to sanction the violators, adding that the steps included disabling their travel passports for a period not less than one year.
The Chairman said the steps also included the “cancellation of the visas/permits of foreigners that have abused our hospitality and prosecution under the 2021 Health Protection Regulations”.
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He said that an additional list of Batch II defaulters would be published in a subsequent announcement by the PSC.
”The identified passengers, their names, nationalities, passport numbers, airlines, and dates of arrival, will be published in national dailies,” he said.
NAN recalls that the Federal Government has said it is worried about happenings in India, Brazil and Turkey and is considering issuing travel advisory on international flights coming from those countries.
It has also warned that though the cases in Nigeria were not rising, the third wave of the pandemic might hit the country soon, hence the need to maintain the non-pharmaceutical measures protocols.
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