FOREIGN PASSENGERS ESCAPING FROM OUR FACILITIES – PSC CHAIR

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The Chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha, lamented that some returning foreign passengers escaped from isolation facilities, violating the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory earlier issued.

He said the committee frowned on such act, adding that appropriate punishment would be meted out to anyone found culpable upon the completion of their investigation.

Mustapha said, “The PSC has received reports of some returning foreign passengers who violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities.

“We deprecate such violation of the laws of our land and our hospitality. The PSC is awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and we wish to assure Nigerians that appropriate sanctions would be imposed on the violators.”

Mustapha disclosed that the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government had fixed the cost of COVID-19 testing, whether PCR or otherwise, at $50 at all Points of Entry with effect from May 17, 2021.

This, he said, was to ease travel and trade among citizens of ECOWAS States travelling within the region.

Also speaking at the briefing, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, stated that the experience of other countries such as India, Pakistan and Thailand showed the unpredictable nature of the virus, urging Nigerians not to lose their guard.

The minister urged Nigerians to take responsibility as they celebrated Sallah, adding that the experience of the third wave of the virus from India among others was fuelled by elections and religious gatherings.

He said, “It is important to remain aware of risks involved in traveling, gathering, celebrating and generally letting down our guards. I urge everyone to take responsibility for their personal and their family’s safety from COVID-19 infection.

“Experience from India and other countries showed us that the terrible third wave that has caused so much loss of human lives, was facilitated and fuelled by events immediately related to political campaigns, elections and religious gatherings.

“These contributed greatly to the explosion of cases that India is currently battling with today. As we celebrate the Sallah days ahead, let us remember this warning and ensure that we avoid all situations that tempt us to forget Covid-19 preventive measures and life-saving non-pharmaceutical measures. “

Meanwhile, experts who reacted to the measures urged Nigerians to comply.

A virologist at the University of Ibadan, in an interview said,

“Respiratory viruses spread like wild fire. Look at the situation in India and some South American countries, the rate of COVID-19 is very high and raging very rapidly. Here, as long as we are still detecting cases, the risk is still there.

“Any effort by government in public interest can be utilised  to ensure that the disease is controlled  will be in the right direction.”

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