The Lagos State Government has put 14 countries on a coronavirus watchlist and has restated its commitment to strictly enforce the Covid-19 travel protocols, especially for inbound international passengers.
This is part of the measures to contain the outbreak of a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Lagos State.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, at a press briefing organised by the Ministry of Health to highlight the Covid-19 third wave prevention strategy.
Abayomi pointed out that Lagos State Government is proactively setting parameters that will guide the management of Inbound Passengers of Interests (POIs) from other countries, especially, countries with rapidly spreading new strains of the Covid-19 virus.
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He explained that inbound international travellers and POIs coming from other countries into Lagos are being classified based on their originating countries into 3 namely; the Red countries, the Amber countries and the Green countries.
He said that India, Brazil and Turkey where new variants of Covid originated from and is rapidly expanding, especially in the past 7 days, are classified as the Red countries, while the Amber countries which consist of 14 nations are countries that are currently experiencing active community transmission of the new variants, which originated from the Red countries.
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The Commissioner added that the Green Countries are countries with no known variants of Covid or records of variants from Red Countries and no clear increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.
He listed the 14 countries that form the Amber countries to include Canada, U.S.A, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
Abayomi said, “Our protocol for the management of inbound passengers from the Red Countries will include; a mandatory PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post-arrival and 14-day isolation in a government-approved facility paid for by the passenger. The POI from the Amber Countries are also required to do PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post-arrival and a mandatory seven days isolation at home which will be monitored by our logistics, surveillance and EkoTELEMED teams.’’
Highlighting the framework for isolation of passengers of interests from Red listed countries like India, Turkey and Brazil, the Commissioner explained POIs from these countries are required to pre-register and fill a travel registration form on the Federal Government’s Covid travel portal and pre-book for a PCR test and isolation accommodation.
The Commissioner said, “The Federal Government has put very strict guidelines in place for people coming from India, Brazil and Turkey. These passengers coming in are to be mandatorily isolated at any of the accredited State isolation facilities at their own expense. They are to perform a COVID PCR test within 24 hours and continue isolation for seven days after which a second PCR test will be performed. If you are negative on the seventh day then you will be permitted to leave the state accredited isolation facility.
For passengers returning from other counties, we are more relaxed, however, there are still restrictions, all of them still have to comply with the seven-day isolation but they can isolate at home where we will be monitoring them and ensure that they observe the mandatory seven-day isolation before they leave their home environment.’’
The Commissioner noted that the Governor has recently passed into law the Lagos State Coronavirus Pandemic law, 2021, which gives the Governor the right to order a quarantine and allow for sanction for anyone who flouts the law.
Abayomi pointed out that there will be severe sanctions for inbound travellers and POIs who flout the protocol or the State COVID pandemic law, stressing that providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out the online form is an offence punishable by imprisonment or heavy fines or both.
In case you missed it
- It can be recalled that the Lagos State government had earlier said that it is taking steps to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic following the flattening of the second wave, adding that all its facilities have been placed on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest another wave of Covid-19 in the state.
- As part of precautionary measure to reduce the risk of a spike in Covid-19 infections, the Federal Government, in its new travel advisory guideline, announced that it will bar passengers who have visited India, Brazil and Turkey in the past 14 days from entering the country.