Deji Adeyanju and Prof Ishaq Akinyola have expressed concern over the suspension  of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for returnees by government, saying the decision would lead to upsurge in community transmission of Coronavirus. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had last week said that the 14-day quarantine of evacuees in hotels would no longer be necessary.

Rights activist, Adeyanju, on Monday in Abuja said the suspension of the guideline for returnees would endanger the lives of many Nigerians and consequently spike the number of community transmission of COVID-19. 

He said it was illogical for government to shift the goal post at the middle of the game since the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Central Bank of Nigeria had indicated interest in bankrolling the bills of returnees.

Adeyanju said the decision had further cast a shadow of doubt in the minds of many Nigerians on the accountability and transparency of government in the entire process.

He said it was obvious that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control lacked the capacity in contact tracing, which would be a challenge with the new arrangement by looking for whoever his or her result turned out positive.

He said, "If the NNPC and CBN have agreed to foot the bills of these people and I am sure the money must have been provided for but all of the sudden in the middle of the game they are shifting the post, it can suggest only one thing there is hanky panky going on somewhere.

"Governments must do what is right immediately. The returnees arriving should be quarantined for 14 days that is what every reasonable government is doing."

Director of Muslim Rights Concern, Prof Akintola, on his own part said the decision would further elongate the tenure of COVID-19 in the country.

Akintola added that allowing returnees to proceed to their various destinations upon arrival would make a mockery of the successes and gains that had been made so far in the management of the pandemic.

He said, "Any new arrival from outside Nigeria should be quarantined. We need to do that in the interest of local population. We don't know where they are coming from and that will be dangerous for their families and the  people that will live with them after their arrival."

The cleric told the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 -to open up and tell Nigerians the game they were playing, lamenting the lack of transparency in the new arrangement.

He added, "If they cannot spend money to quarantine just one person, how are they going to now spend money to quarantine hundreds of their contacts. It is not a wise decision at all because is going to endanger a lot of people."

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