By Myke Agunwa
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has threatened that it will this weekend publish a list of 100 Nigerian Passport numbers and place them on a travel suspension for a minimum of 6 months for flouting the obligation to undertake a post COVID-19 test within 7 days of arrival to Nigeria from overseas travel.
The ban has become very necessary following the emergence of another strain of the virus which is presently ravaging the entire globe, forcing several countries in Europe and America to go into a second lock-down.
Special Assistant to President Buhari on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi disclosed this in his official twitter handle, @toluogunlesi on Thursday.
In a series of tweets, he wrote, “Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 says it’ll this weekend publish a list of 100 Nigerian Passport Nos that will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months for flouting the obligation to test within 7 days of arrival in Nigeria from overseas travel.
“PTF says the 100 affected persons (this is only Phase 1, more coming) have been contacted and have confirmed that they failed to do the post-arrival test. Only passport numbers will be published, PTF says, not names. Nigerian Passports will be suspended for 6 months (minimum)”.
The task force said that it is not in a hurry to place a ban on international flights despite the increase in the rate of COVID-19 infection across the country. He said that the country will take extra measures to monitor all incoming flights and subject its passengers to COVID-19 reconfirmation test at the end of 7 days isolation period.
Ogunlesi wrote, “PTF says Nigeria is not banning flights from the UK and SA, at least for now. Instead there will now be very stringent monitoring of inbound direct flights from the two countries. Any Nigerian who fails the Day-7 test will have their passport suspended, and foreigners will have visas revoked.
“PTF says penalties will also apply to persons caught presenting fake negative PCR Tests for travel. Apparently it’s a thing – Nigerians cooking up fake negative results and uploading them to the Travel Portal and/or presenting them to airlines.
“The post-arrival Test is expected to be done on Day 7 after arrival in Nigeria (i.e at the end of the mandatory 7-day self-isolation/quarantine), not “within 7 days of arrival.”
“If you’re coming to Nigeria from abroad – especially from the UK & SA – ensure you visit the Travel Portal https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng & upload a genuine negative test result before travel. And you must pre-pay for your post-arrival test online, & must do the Test on Day 7 post-arrival”.