The resurgence of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Brazil, Turkey, and India has prompted the Nigerian government to enact new steps to prevent the virus from spreading deeper into the region.
According to Worldometers reports, on May 1, 2021, there were a total of 2,670 deaths in Brazil, Turkey, and India.
Brazil has reported 60,013 new cases and 2,278 new deaths within 24 hours, according to the report.
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According to the numbers, Turkey reported 28,817 new cases and 373 new deaths on the same day, while India recorded 7,801 new cases and 19 new deaths.
The presidential steering committee on COVID-19, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, announced on Sunday that the new measures included a ban on entry of non-Nigerian passengers who have traveled to the three countries in the last 14 days.
Mustapha said Nigerians and other permanent residents who have been to the three countries in the last 14 days would be allowed to enter the nation, but must undergo a one week quarantine in a government-approved facility.
The SGF expressed the Nigerian Government’s empathy to the governments of the three nations, saying the country, “assures them of our commitment, unflinching support and solidarity at this time of need.”
Mustapha said the new travel restrictions were in line with the Federal Government’s efforts, “to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with high incidence of cases.”
He said, “These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.
“Nigerians are strongly advised to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths.
“The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, after due consideration has therefore approved the implementation of the following measures: Reduction of the validity period of pre-boarding COVID-19 PCR test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96hrs to 72 hours. Henceforth PCR test results older than 72hours before departure shall not be accepted;
Guidelines Specific to Brazil, India and Turkey
“Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria. This regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.
The following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers who fail to comply with I and II(a) above: Airlines shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 (Three Thousand Five Hundred dollars) for each defaulting passenger.
“Non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.
” Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within Fourteen (14) days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven (7) days of mandatory quarantine in a Government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger. The following condition shall apply to such passengers: Within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test.
“If positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols.
“If Negative, the Passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.
“Passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations Must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination.
Carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory.
“Shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.
“False declaration: Passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution.
Person(s) who willfully disregard or refuse to comply with directions of Port-Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
“State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers from ALL countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival.”
Mustapha added that the travel advisory,” shall come into effect from TUESDAY 4TH day of May 2021. The guidelines provided in this document shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks.”