The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is expecting that its digital Covid Travel Pass will be ready for roll-out in a matter of weeks.
The pass is an app that verifies a passenger has had the Covid-19 tests or vaccines required to enter a country.
This was disclosed by Vinoop Goel, IATA’s regional director of airports and external relations who said,
“The key issue is one of confidence. Passengers need to be confident that the testing they’ve taken is accurate and will allow them to enter the country.
“And then governments need to have the confidence that the tests that the passengers claim to have are one which is accurate and meets their own conditions.
“We are currently working with a number of airlines worldwide and learning from these pilots. And the plan is to go live in March.
“So basically we expect to have a fully functional working system over the next few weeks.
“We do have a case in the Republic of Korea that does require a paper certificate, so we are working with the government there to ensure they will allow digital certificates to be accepted.”
What you should know
- According to IATA, the Travel Pass is designed in a “modular” way, so that it can work with other digital solutions that are being trialed around the world.
- The App will be available on iOS and Android platforms and to be free to passengers.
- Singapore Airlines was the first airline to start trials of the travel pass in December.
- Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand are among the other airlines currently conducting trials, and IATA says it is discussing the pass with most airlines throughout the Asia Pacific region.
- It is to be noted that the closest paper equivalent to the app is the Yellow Card, a World Health Organization document which confirms passengers have been vaccinated.
- The airline industry plummeted nearly 70% in 2020 compared to 2019, as Covid dealt a serious blow on the operators and the industry.
Why this matters
The pass is being seen as essential for reopening air travel, as many countries still have strict restrictions or quarantines in place.
An app has become quite essential considering the high level of risk of fraud associated with paper certificates.
According to BBC News report, “Europol recently revealed that a forgery ring in France had been selling negative test results to passengers at Charles de Gaulle Airport and fraudsters had also been apprehended in the UK for selling forged results”.
In many other countries, there have been large-scale frauds of forging negative results for passengers, with several law enforcement officers indicted in the acts.
The industry is hoping for a recovery in 2021, but it’s unlikely that the vaccine rollout will solve the problem immediately, which is part of the reason IATA thinks the Travel Pass is needed.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 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 158,506 confirmed cases.
On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 158,506 cases have been confirmed, 137,875 cases have been discharged and 1,969 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 7th, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 7th March 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 158,506
- Total Number Discharged – 137,890
- Total Deaths – 1,969
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008
According to the NCDC, the 269 new cases are reported from 19 states- Enugu (78), Bauchi (37), Rivers (22), Imo (18), Ogun (16), FCT (15), Akwa Ibom (13), Kaduna (13), Kebbi (11), Kwara (9), Edo(7), Ekiti (6), Borno (5), Yobe(5), Kano (4) Nasarawa (3), Osun (3), Anambra (2) and Plateau (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,444, followed by Abuja (19,350), Plateau (8,944), Kaduna (8,658), Oyo (6,766), Rivers (6,680), Edo (4,670), Ogun (4,437), Kano (3,844), Ondo (3,066), Kwara (2,962), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,457), Nasarawa (2,251), Enugu (2,156), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,010), Ebonyi (1,951), Anambra (1,813), Akwa Ibom (1,610), and Abia (1,588).
Imo State has recorded 1,569 cases, Borno (1,308), Bauchi (1,274), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (942), Niger (919), Taraba (863), Ekiti (834), Bayelsa (779), Sokoto (769), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (412), Cross River (334), Yobe (293), Zamfara (222), 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.
On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.
On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.
Update: Health Minister states side effects of COVID-19 vaccines
Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed the side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has stated the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, which he said is mild.
The minister disclosed this during the live broadcast when President Muhammadu Buhari took his vaccine shot on Saturday.
According to the Minister, the reactions are usually mild and only few people had complained of mild pain in the part of the body they got the shot.
He said, “It is not everybody that complained of reactions/side effects but few had complained of mild pain at the part of the body they got the shot.
”Usually manufacturing vaccines take not less than 4 years but this only took about 1 year, which is the reason some people are apprehensive about the vaccines. This was manufactured in the United Kingdom and has been certified.”
Ehanire, explained that the jab is painless as a narrow gauge syringe was used with a small quantity injected in the upper arm.
He added that the after-effects are mild but accompanied by little discomfort in the area that was injected.
Present at the brief ceremony were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and other members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, senior government officials and journalists.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- Seplat falls into a loss in FY 2020
- 2020 FY Results: Cornerstone Insurance Plc reports a 61.1% decline in profit
- Ellah Lakes increases operating expenses by 33.36% in HY 2020
- 2020 FY Results: Nigerian Breweries reports a 54.3% decline in profits in 2020
- Abbey Mortgage Bank projects N51.08 million profit in Q2 2020.