The Federal Government has revoked the visas issued to 27 foreigners and declared 63 Nigerians as Persons of Interest for evading the mandatory 7-day quarantine for persons arriving from any of the restricted countries.
The government also mounted a manhunt for the 90 travellers, whom it described as dangers to public health for failure to adhere to the mandatory arrival quarantine for international passengers arriving from India, Brazil, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the new but deadly variant of Covid-19 virus is spreading.
This disclosure was made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who also doubles as the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, in a public statement issued on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Mustapha said the violators arrived in Nigeria through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja between May 8 and 15, 2021, adding that Nigerians should be wary of such Persons of interest, as they constitute an immediate health hazard to the society.
In a move that is a radical departure from merely publishing the passport numbers of the violators, the Federal Government has, for the first time, published the defaulters’ names in addition to their passport numbers.
Mustapha said that apart from the sanction imposed on the violators, the Federal Government would, in addition, take further steps, which included disabling their travel passports for a period not less than one year, cancellation of visas/permits of foreigners who had abused the country’s hospitality, and prosecution under the 2021 Health Protection Regulations.
The SGF also asked the defaulting travellers to transport themselves safely to the nearest state public health departments within the next 48 hours for evaluation and call the Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health on 08036134672 or 08032461990 for further directions.
He also noted that an additional list of Batch II defaulters would be published in a subsequent announcement by the PSC.
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It can be recalled that the Federal Government had on May 1, 2021, issued a travel advisory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India, and Turkey, saying the measures were necessary to mitigate the risk of importation of variants of coronavirus and break the chain of transmission to the population.
It pointed out that under the new measures, passengers arriving from/or that had visited any of these three countries within fourteen (14) days prior to the visit to Nigeria, were required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.