In the late hours of Sunday, 31 May 2021, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi in a statement raised an alarm that 119 passengers from high risk countries including Brazil, India, Italy have refused to be isolated after returning to the country.
In the statement, he appealed to the families of those who refused to be isolated to return them for testing.
He said, “Since the commencement of the new guidelines and the ban on non-Nigerians travelling from three countries (India, Brazil and Turkey) into Nigeria, Lagos State has recorded 568 in-bound passengers, who have been permitted to enter Nigeria from these three countries. We have isolated 433 passengers in our various accredited hotels and facilities; 262 are in isolation and 154 passengers have been discharged with a negative COVID-19 test. Nine have tested positive to COVID-19 and successfully isolated to prevent community transmission. Of the remaining 135 passengers, 119 have refused isolation and 16 are unaccounted for.
This is seen as lack of respect for the Nigerian Government and disobeying Nigerian travel guidelines as citizens live are at risk, especially with the new Corona virus variants in India and Brazil.
However, the Commissioner added that all passengers that had been confirmed absconders would have their passports deactivated for a minimum of one year if Nigerian; and if foreign, would have their resident permits cancelled and deported as stated by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.
Likewise, these passengers should be fined for failing to observe protocols. For instance, in February 2021, Peel Police at the Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Canada handed out $750 tickets to 3 international travelers who refused to take Covid-19 test.
Furthermore, Abayomi disclosed the state government’s intention to partner the private sector and Federal Government in ramping up vaccination in the state so as to reach its target, to vaccinate about 14 million people in Lagos State.
Meanwhile, the state government said that the administration of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine would start Monday – Friday across the approved 88 health facilities and till July 9 2021. “I, therefore, implore citizens who have received the first dose to proceed to the health facilities where they got the first dose on the scheduled appointment dates, which are clearly stated on the vaccination card that was issued.”