The Lagos State Government has warned travellers coming into the country, who shun the required COVID-19 guidelines as stipulated by the Presidential Taskforce, to desist from such infraction or face serious consequences. 

The state Commissioners for Information and Health, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, and Prof Akin Abayomi, in a joint statement, gave this warning on Friday.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

The commissioners said, “It has been reported several times through notification from Port Health Services, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Lagos State Biobank and accredited private laboratories carrying out COVID-19 tests that inbound passengers arriving Nigeria are breaching the COVID-19 protocols.

“We have good authority that some passengers, having registered and paid for COVID-19 tests, have failed to report to assigned private laboratories after completion of their seven days isolation. Some incoming passengers even were unable to register and pay for the test whilst making their journey to the country in total disregard and breach of the safety protocols.

“Likewise, a large number of international passengers provided wrong information and contact details while registering online, making it difficult for them to be reached, traced or contacted by our logistics team.

“This is not only worrisome but portends danger for public health and safety as the populace stands the risk of infection from an asymptomatic positive case who perhaps is not aware of his or her status.

“We are not going to fold our arms and watch the gains made by us against the disease to be reversed by the irresponsibility of some citizens who choose to disregard our guidelines flagrantly. This is why we are set to take action against people who flout these protocols.”

The statement warned that the flouting of directives by the international travellers to COVID-19 guidelines might push the country to a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria, on February 27, 2020, had recorded its index COVID-19 case; but the cases grew geometrically within weeks, forcing President, Muhammadu Buhari, to declare a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on March 31. 

The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown lasted for about three months, bringing untold hardship, suffering and hunger on Nigerians.

Airports, schools and business activities were shut down, and schools were closed as the pandemic gripped the country for more than seven months.

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