The Lagos State government has commenced prosecution of inbound international passengers who fail to submit themselves for Day Two and Day Seven PCR tests as mandated by the Federal COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
This is as the state government expressed concern over the dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases seen in the evolving fourth wave.
Speaking on the development, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, noted that the prosecution of defaulting inbound passengers became necessary in order to mitigate the evolving fourth wave of COVID-19 infection in the state.
He said, “Lagos State Government is concerned with the dramatic rise in cases seen in the evolving fourth wave. Identifying that our previous waves are associated with non-compliance of inbound passengers with the testing guidelines, we have commenced prosecution of inbound international passengers who fail to submit themselves for Day Two and Day Seven PCR tests as mandated by the Federal COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
“In addition, unvaccinated inbound passengers and anyone testing positive for COVID-19 are mandated to self-isolate at home for seven days. We will be sanctioning anyone found to be disregarding these guidelines, which are designed to minimise the community transmission of COVID and its variants.”
He disclosed that the state government has started contacting the defaulting passengers and patients for arraignment before a mobile court for special offences.
This is as he reiterated that non-compliance with the laid down protocols was responsible for the spread of COVID infections in previous waves in Lagos.
“To protect the rest of our citizens from this irresponsible behaviour, the Lagos State Government is taking some decisive actions. We have started contacting all those that have not done their Day two and Day seven tests by text messages. These messages are not a scam. We advise that if you receive such a message please respond and present yourselves before the mobile court to explain why you did not do the Day two or Day seven PCR tests as required. If we are unable to reach you by SMS, it implies that you have given us false information on your data forms, this in itself is also an offence,” the Commissioner stated.
Abayomi maintained that the alarming trend of default poses a National and State public health and security threat sabotaging all efforts to mitigate the impact of the fourth wave of the pandemic.
According to him, non-compliant inbound passengers are likely to carry new variants of COVID-19, whose clinical implications and impact are not yet clearly understood amongst the population.