The President Steering Committee (PSC) has banned over 2,000 Nigerians and other foreigners from travelling in or out of the country for evading the mandatory Coronavirus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test in the country’s international airports. The ban is set to last for a year.
P.M News reports that Mukhtar Muhammad, the National Incident Manager (NIM) of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Mukhtar Muhammad, disclosed this during a briefing in Abuja.
He explained that they have pasted the names of over 2,000 people (both Nigerians and foreigners) in major federal medical facilities. These are the facilities where medical experts have been assigned to care for Nigerians and foreigners that travelled into Nigeria during the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to Muhammad, the Nigerian Government had mandated passengers travelling into the country, especially those travelling from high-risk countries, to be quarantined in a facility provided by the Government. Those who failed to comply have been banned from travelling abroad for a year.
“We have included the provision of quarantine for passengers, who arrived from high-risk countries and people who evaded these protocols have been penalised by publishing their names, as well as suspending their passports for one year,” Muhammad stated.
He reminded the public that there were consequences for their actions, highlighting the fact that they have published the list of over 2,000 offenders in health facilities and have also suspended their passports.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, on May 1, 2021, the PSC issued a Travel Advisory for Passengers arriving in Nigeria from Turkey, India, and Brazil. Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 explained the purpose of the advisory. It served as a precautionary measure which was necessary for migrating the risk of importing variants of the Coronavirus and transmitting it to the Nigerian population.
The measure stated that passengers who were arriving from or had visited any of the previously listed three countries (Turkey, India, and Brazil), within fourteen (14) days before visiting Nigeria, had to follow the mandatory quarantine and testing protocol in Government designated facilities upon arrival into Nigeria. They would also have to present themselves on day seven for the PCR repeat test.
However, in the latest news, many passengers did not observe the measures and as a result, the PSC took action by suspending their passports for a year.