The Government of Nigeria has decided to ban passports for travelers who refuse to make themselves available for a compulsory PCR test, seven days after arriving in the country from using their international passports for a minimum of six months.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, issued this threat yesterday when the task force briefed the media.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the need to activate the sanctions, including passport suspension for erring individuals, was necessitated by serious non-compliance by defaulters, which had assumed a 65 percent level.
He also regretted that statistics from record indicated that only one out of three passengers, who arrived from abroad, were presenting themselves for the mandatory in-country test, which they signed up to and paid before arrival.
He warned that the country is at risk of a second wave of COVID-19 and its importation from abroad having opened its airspace for international travels.
In addition to this, he lamented about non- adherence to pharmaceutical interventions as a result of the massive anti-SARS protests in some parts of the country, warning that the next two weeks will remain critical.
“The PTF at the last briefing cautioned on the need to avoid complacency on account of the low number of infections published daily and the possibility of a second wave. That advice was premised on the fact that risk perception remains very low and sample collection has been on the decline. In the midst of all these, the nation has experienced several large gathering events during which the Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions were not really observed. The situation in Europe and the reports from the USA showing the consequences of non-adherence are quite vivid.”