By Babajide Okeowo
- Lagos Warns Over Sale Of Fake COVID 19 Test Result
In a bid to stop the spread of the COVID 19 virus, the federal government yesterday unfolded a new policy to contain the importation of COVID-19 into the country, especially by international travellers.
To this effect, under the new policy which kicks into effect from yesterday, travelers are compelled to register with the Nigeria International Travel Portal – nitp.ncdc.gov.ng. to obtain their travel permits before departure from their destinations.
The new policy complements the old system through which travellers would have to generate temporary QR Codes, which will only enable them to board at the airport, while they pay for the COVID-19 test on arrival.
Under the previous policy, the federal government had warned that any failure to complete the post-arrival test will lead to a six-month suspension of passports for Nigerian citizens and revocation of visas for visitors.
In another development, the Lagos State Government has alleged that fake COVID-19 test results were being sold in the state and paraded by travellers who needed clearance on their COVID-19 status.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, at a news conference, described the racketeering of fake COVID-19 test results as a dangerous trend, adding that the state government will clamp down on those found culpable.
The commissioner added that some residents who tested positive for COVID-19 supplied fake contact addresses and phone numbers at isolation centres which have made contact tracing difficult for health workers.
“We suspect people are gaining access to fake certificates and we will clamp down on them as this is a very dangerous trend.
Positivity for inbound travellers is on the rise as Nigerians in the Diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos. It has come to our attention that a number of people are patronising individuals that sell fake COVID-19 results.
We are currently putting in processes to identify both buyers and sellers and we will not hesitate to prosecute them,” he stated.
Abayomi explained that 48 per cent of COVID-19 patients in the state do not know they are carriers of the virus.
He labelled 16 per cent of the COVID-19 cases currently in the state as severe cases while one per cent are in critical condition.
“Forty eight per cent of people infected with COVID-19 have very mild symptoms or even asymptomatic. Some of them don’t even know they’re carrying the virus” he said.