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Lagos punishes residents, travellers defaulting COVID-19 guidelines

Ignorance is no excuse, says Lagos health commissioner.
LAGOS State Government has started prosecuting inbound international passengers who fail to submit themselves for Day Two and Day Seven PCR tests as mandated by the Federal COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, made this known on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. The commissioner explained that the prosecution of defaulting inbound passengers has become necessary in order to reduce the evolving fourth wave of COVID-19 infection in Lagos.

“Lagos State Government is concerned with the dramatic rise in cases seen in the evolving fourth wave. Identifying that our previous waves are associated with non-compliance of inbound passengers with the testing guidelines, we have commenced prosecution of inbound international passengers who fail to submit themselves for Day Two and Day Seven PCR tests as mandated by the Federal COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.

“In addition, unvaccinated inbound passengers and anyone testing positive for COVID-19 are mandated to self-isolate at home for seven days. We will be sanctioning anyone found to be disregarding these guidelines, which are designed to minimize the community transmission of COVID and its variants”

“From our data analysis, we discovered that only about 20 percent of inbound passengers who pay for the COVID-19 PCR tests prior to their arrival in Lagos actually submit themselves for the tests on the required day at our designated laboratories. Our data also shows that a significant number of inbound passengers who actually do the tests on the designated days are testing positive and if they don’t self-isolate they pose a serious threat to the States ability to manage the fourth wave.

“To protect the rest of our citizens from this irresponsible behaviour, the Lagos State Government is taking some decisive actions. We have started contacting all those that have not done their Day two and Day seven tests by text messages.

”These messages are not a scam. We advise that if you receive such a message please respond and present yourselves before the mobile court to explain why you did not do the Day two or Day seven PCR tests as required. If we are unable to reach you by SMS, it implies that you have given us false information on your data forms, this in itself is also an offense.

“If we cannot reach you or you fail to present to a mobile court, your passport details will be forwarded to the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Immigration Department who will in turn deactivate the passport of such persons for a year. And this basically means that they will not be able to travel out of the country for a period of one year”.

The commissioner noted that the actions of some persons flouting COVID-19 protocols are enough to sabotage the efforts of the state to control the spread of new infections. He also announce that the state government will severely punish persons with counterfeit PCR test certificates.

“It is also important to note that if you are positive on day two of entry into Lagos it may be likely that you are in possession of a fake PCR test that you used to board the inbound flight. This will also be investigated through our international networks.

“Fake PCR tests certificates and vaccination cards from any part of the world can be verified and will attract severe sanctions. Please do not solicit or entertain any offers to provide fake results or certificates”, the commissioner concluded.