The Lagos State Government is set to prosecute prosecute inbound international passengers who fail to submit themselves for Day 2 and Day 7 PCR tests as mandated by the Federal Government.
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This was disclosed by the state Commissioner for Health, Prof.
Akin Abayomi, in a statement on Tuesday.
He said the prosecution of defaulting inbound passengers had become necessary in order to mitigate the evolving fourth wave of COVID-19 infection in the state.
He said, “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 minimise the community transmission of COVID-19 and its variants”
He furthermore noted that the state government had commenced contacting the defaulting passengers and patients for arraignment before a mobile court for special offenses.
According to him, inbound passengers are likely to be carrying new variants of COVID-19 whose clinical implications and impact are not yet clearly understood amongst the population.
He said, “From our data analysis, we discovered that only about 20 per cent 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 state’s 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.
Lagos commences prosecution of defaulters of COVID guidelines