The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has announced its determination to prosecute 132 Nigerians and foreigners who violated the Covid-19 safety protocols on their arrival from some high-risk countries abroad. It has therefore declared them wanted and urged the general public to be on the lookout as they constitute health hazards to the general public.
The PSC, on May 1, 2021, issued a travel advisory, instructing travellers arriving from India, Brazil and Turkey, or who had visited the countries within 14 days of their trip to Nigeria, to observe certain protocols, including compulsory quarantine and testing in designated facilities on arrival.
However, the committee observed that many travellers had been violating the advisory, leading to the earlier announcement of 90 violators as wanted persons on May 9.
In a statement on Thursday evening by chairman of the PSC and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the Committee announced the 132 additional violators of the advisory, who entered through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, advising members of the public to be on the lookout, describing the persons as immediate health hazard.
“The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on 1st May, 2021 issued a Travel Advisory for Passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India and Turkey.
“These precautionary measures are a necessary step to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population.
“Under the new measures, passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries within fourteen (14) days prior to the visit to Nigeria, are required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.
“The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) has however observed that while most of the arriving passengers dutifully observed the guidelines, some (Nigerians and Foreigners) have violated them in contravention of the provisions of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) HEALTH REGULATIONS PROTECTION, 2021.
“Accordingly, the underlisted persons who arrived in Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and whose names and passport numbers are displayed, have been declared Persons of Interest (POI) on account of posing considerable danger to overall public health and for the violation of Nigeria COVID-19 travel protocol by evading the mandatory 7-day quarantine for persons arriving from restricted countries.
“Members of the public are by this notice advised that these persons of interest constitute an immediate health hazard to the society.
“They must therefore transport themselves safely, to the nearest state public health departments within 48hrs of this notice for immediate evaluation and call the Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health on 08036134672 or 08032461990 for further directions.
“The PSC shall in addition, take further steps to sanction these violators. These steps include: Disabling their travel passports for a period not less than one year; Cancellation of visas/permits of foreigners that have abused Nigeria’s hospitality, and prosecution under the 2021 Health Protection Regulations,” the statement reads.