A stern warning was given on Monday (8th February) by the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19, regarding violators of International travel protocols. The warning was given during a media brief in Abuja, by Dr. Mukhtar Mohammad, the PTF National Incident Manager and he emphasized the high possibility of imprisonment for defaulters.
Dr. Mukhtar took time to give a detailed explanation of the laid down protocols for travelers and also assured the continuous monitoring of airline and laboratory activities by the PTF:
“As you may all be aware, the PTF through NCAA (Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority) had sanctioned and suspended an airline for its failure to comply with testing requirements and travel policies.
While we explore infrastructure for setting up Rapid Antigen Test (RDT), the standard shall continue to be the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test performed 96 hours from the date of departure and a second PCR test on the 7th day after arrival.
In the meantime, the PTF will continue to monitor compliance by all international airlines and approved laboratories and take necessary action on travel advisories for national interest and greater public safety.
Last week, we received report of some passengers, who having violated the entry protocol, were reported to have jumped quarantine. The PTF is taking the necessary steps to ensure timely prosecution of these passengers.
For the benefit of the public, let me reiterate the protocol for passengers arriving without PCR or those who obtained a fake PCR results. These passengers will be tested on arrival immediately taken to a mandatory seven-day quarantine at designated hotels; at the expiry of which they will have a second COVID-19 test using PCR.
The passengers will be responsible for all their hotel and laboratory bills as well as be liable to prosecution at the COVID-19 tribunal. Jumping quarantine is a grave offence, which is punishable by imprisonment and PTF will not shirk from prosecuting any violators.
Nigerians must try to comply with the provisions of our entry protocol, because it is in your own best interest. Remember that if you obtain a fake PCR result and conspire and connived your way through the airport, you will be at a very high risk of taking COVID-19 infection to home to infect your loved ones and the people in your community.”
The National Incident Manager, Dr. Mukhtar also applauded the efforts of the Federal Capital Territory in ensuring compliance to the newly signed Coronavirus Disease Health Protection Regulations 2021 and went ahead to commended the efforts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in ensuring that residents comply with the regulation. He also urged other states to imitate the act.