Passports of travellers evading COVID test will be deactivated

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The Lagos state government has threatened to deactivate the passports of travellers refusing to comply with COVID-19 testing protocols.

Akin Abayomi, commissioner for health, and Gbenga Omotosho, his information and strategy counterpart, made this known in a document on the state’s COVID-19 update.

Lagos, which is the epicenter of the pandemic in Nigeria, has recorded over 28,700 COVID-19 cases out of which 236 patients have died.

According to the document, over 213,000 persons have been tested out of the 24 million state residents.

The commissioners said there is an increase in positive cases of inbound travellers with the figure reaching eight per cent this week “as Nigerians in Diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos”.

They said many travellers paid for COVID-19 tests but refused to show up at the testing centers.

“A number of people paid for the COVID-19 test, but did not show up for testing. Efforts are being made through our logistics arm to reach this group of people,” the document reads.

“These attempts have been met with challenges as several people used fake contact information while registering on the testing portal.

“For the sake and safety of the general public, we request that the people in this group come for testing immediately, as we will submit the details of those that don’t to the Presidential Task Force for the deactivation of their passports.”

The commissioners said efforts are being made to identify buyers and sellers of fake COVID-19 test results.

They added the second wave of COVID-19 is as a result of large religious congregation, school reopening, opening of the economy, social gatherings amdy entertainment, variants, general laxity, false sense of security and non-adherence to guidelines.

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