The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 has threatened to apprehend, quarantine, possibly prosecute, and ensure inbound passengers disobeying Covid-19 protocols borne the cost of testing for the coronavirus.
This follows reports that syndicates at some international airports outside the country specialize in providing fake results to Nigerians who are traveling back home.
This disclosure was made by the PTF National Incident Manager, Dr. Mukhtar Mohammed, on Monday in Abuja at the national briefing by the PTF.
He said that this is not a witch-hunt or punishment to anyone, but to make sure people travel safely and do not constitute a nuisance to their loved ones and the society when they return back home.
What the PTF National Incident Manager is saying
Mohammed in his statement said, “We intend to apply the full force of the law over such violators and this includes fines and imprisonment. Our aim is not to witch-hunt or punish anyone but to ensure people travel safely and when they return to the country that they do not constitute a nuisance to their loved ones and the community.
“PTF is aware of the report of syndicates at some international airports outside Nigeria which specialise in providing fake results to innocent Nigerians who are traveling back home. While investigating the matter … I will like to reiterate that it is the responsibility of passengers returning to Nigeria to ensure that they are tested before they start returning.
“You cannot be given a negative result when your samples have not to be taken, please understand this and comply,” he said.
Mohammed noted that on arrival in the country, if you have a fake result, you will be quarantined in any of our facilities and you will bear the expenses of the facility, feeding, and the laboratory test and after that, you are also liable to prosecution.
He said that the task force had received reports of technical challenges experienced by people returning to the country, adding that it had set up a backup manual process and communicated the same to all relevant stakeholders, including the airlines, the Ministry of Health, and diplomatic missions.
While pointing out that technical challenges were bound to occur from time to time, Mohammed said the task force believed that its technical team would be able to speedily resolve issues as soon as they occurred and that the backup system would also operate as an alternative to the online platform.
What you should know
- The Federal Government in recent times has gone hard on international travelers who violate the Covid-19 protocols as prescribed by the PTF due to the rising cases of coronavirus infections in the country.
- The government has announced the suspension of 200 passports belonging to Nigerian passengers in 2 different batches, who refused to undertake a second Covid-19 test upon arrival in the country.
- The PTF said that the suspended passengers will be stopped from traveling outside the country for a period of 6 months.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 25th of February 2021, 634 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 154,476 confirmed cases.
On the 25th of February 2021, 634 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 154,476 cases have been confirmed, 131,699 cases have been discharged and 1,891 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 25th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th February 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 154,476
- Total Number Discharged – 131,722
- Total Deaths – 1,891
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103
According to the NCDC, the 634 new cases are reported from 22 states- Lagos (259), Osun (45), Edo(38), Ogun (35), FCT (33), Anambra (26), Imo (24), Ondo (24), Akwa Ibom (20), Plateau (20), Abia (19), Kaduna (19), Ebonyi (17), Borno (10), Rivers (10), Kano (9), Delta (8), Kebbi (7), Nasarawa (4) Oyo (3), Enugu (2) and Ekiti (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422), Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).
Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
Covid-19: Nigeria’s COVAX supplies on its way soon – Okonjo-Iweala
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has stated that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies are on the way.
The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies will soon be on the way while stating that the WTO must be part of the process for transparent vaccines delivery.
The WTO boss disclosed this in a social media statement on Wednesday evening, where she expressed joy that Ghana had received 600,000 COVAX vaccines.
She said, “Very happy to see first delivery of #COVAX supported vaccines to Ghana… Excited to see more countries following. Nigeria’s supplies should be on its way soon.
“No trade restrictions or bureaucracy should get in the way. The WTO must be part of the solution.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that Ghana had received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
- “The 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, are part of an initial tranche of deliveries headed to several low and middle-income countries,” the WHO said.
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