Mr. Boss Mustapha, Chairman of PTF on COVID-19

Violate international travel protocols, risk jail ─PTF on COVID-19

*Violating the travel protocols is a punishable crime in Nigeria, and a threat to the family, members of the communities offenders belong ─Dr. Mukhtar Muhammad, National Incident Manager of PTF on COVID-19

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In repeating the importance of accepted testing procedures for inbound travellers to Nigeria, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has cautioned against violating international travel COVID-19 protocols as violators stand the risk of imprisonment.

Dr. Mukhtar Muhammad, National Incident Manager of PTF on COVID-19, who stated this Monday, February 8 at the media briefing of PTF in Abuja, FCT, said that the Task Force would not fail to prosecute violators.

Repeating the accepted testing procedures for inbound travellers to Nigeria, Dr. Muhammad explained that besides the fact that violating the travel protocols is a punishable crime in Nigeria, it is also a threat to the family and members of the communities where offenders belong.

The National Incident Manager of PTF, however, assured that the PTF would continue to monitor the activities of international airlines and laboratories, as well as continue to take actions on travel advisories to ensure that the nation is secured against the pandemic.

Travellers at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, FCT   Photo: AutoJosh

“As you may all be aware, the PTF through NCAA 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.

Muhammad noted “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.

He added: “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.”

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