The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) has said that passengers that come into the country, who refused to do the in-country coronavirus tests as stipulated in the guidelines for the reopening of international flights, will be allowed 14 days to have the test done.
Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this at a briefing yesterday in Abuja, said that all travelers coming into the country needed a negative COVID-19 PCR test to be conducted at a certified laboratory, and done very close to the departure date, preferably within 72 hours, or not longer than seven days.
He also said that all passengers coming into the country must register on Nigeria international travel portal, pay for a PCR test to be done in-country and fill an online health declaration form which they must submit.
According to Aliyu, persons with COVID-19 symptoms will no be allowed to board even if they have a negative PCR test results, and on arrival to the country, passengers must self isolate for seven days and present themselves at the sample collection centre on the seventh day.
“We appeal to all international travelers to take the protocols seriously and adhere to them. Positive cases will be managed in line with the guidelines. There will be sanctions for failure to comply, and airlines that allow passengers without the PCR test result to board will be sanctioned on arrival in Nigeria. It is important that we get this right, we don’t have the infrastructure to start testing at the airports at the moment but in the coming months, we will be able to make arrangements in order to have real time information”.
The coordinator hinted that in preparation for the commencement of international flights on September 5, the PTF had been working with agencies to develop protocols that would safeguard the well-being of international travelers, prevent importation of new infections and contain the spread of COVID-19.
The PTF chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, revealed that the last three weeks had shown a slow down in the number of confirmed cases.
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“The PTF still urges caution and vigilance on the declining numbers because the virus is still potent and very dangerous. This position is informed by the fact that in spite of our enhanced testing capacity, the number of samples collected for testing has not been encouraging. While we intensify our targeted testing strategy, we still urge the states to expand the scope of their sample collection.”
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