The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has banned for one year, over 2,000 Nigerians and foreigners from going abroad and coming into the country for failing to take the Coronavirus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at the international airports.
This was disclosed on Monday by the National Incident Manager (NIM) of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Mukhtar Muhammad, at its briefing in Abuja.
The Manager said that the names of the banned citizens and foreigners have been sent to all the major federal medical facilities where medical experts were assigned to give care to Nigerians and foreigners that had travelled into the country during the third wave of the pandemic.
Muhammed said the government had insisted that those who arrived into the country, especially from high-risk countries, must be quarantined in a government-provided facility.
The passports of those who failed to adhere to the protocol have been suspended for one 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.
“Let me assure you that so far we have published the list of over 2,000 people who evaded quarantine in our health facilities. And we have gone ahead to ensure that their passports are suspended, so, for every action there are consequences,” he said.
The Presidential Steering Committee on May 1, 2021, had issued a Travel Advisory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India and Turkey.
The Committee Chairman, Boss Mustapha, said precautionary measures were needed to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population.
Under the precautionary measures, those arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries within fourteen (14) days prior to the visit to Nigeria, were required to observe mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.
Reports have however revealed that many travellers failed to isolate or present themselves for the PCR repeat test on day seven.
The PSC had previously also published names and passport numbers of defaulters.