Devastating Indian Strain: FG Fixes Date To Begin Hunting For Travellers Who Violated COVID-19 Guidelines

 The Federal Government will on Wednesday begin contact tracing of 90 international travellers, who violated the COVID-19 Health Regulations Protection, 2021.

The spokesman for the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Mr. Willie Bassey, gave this indication in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday.

India, Brazil, and Turkey have been witnessing the rapid spread of a devastating strain of COVID-19, which has stretched health systems in the countries.

For example, The Times of India on Monday reported that India had 2,22,315 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total cases to 2,67,52,447.

On May 10, the Federal Government issued a travel advisory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India, and Turkey.

Under the new measures,  passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries within 14 days prior to the visit to Nigeria, are required to follow mandatory arrival quarantine and testing protocols in designated facilities.

But in a statement on Sunday, the PSC said some travellers had been evading the mandatory seven-day quarantine for persons arriving from restricted countries.

On Monday, one of our correspondents asked the PSC spokesman, Bassey, how the Federal Government planned to trace the affected persons and if they did not leave their addresses.

But Bassey said the government was in possession of the affected persons’ addresses.

He said the Federal Government would do all possible to trace them but would need the support of state governments.

He also said the affected persons were not declared wanted, but were declared persons of interest because of the potential danger they pose to society.

Bassey said, “They are persons of interest and that is why we published their names.

“We have given them 48 hours to report themselves, failure to do so will result in sanctions. We really mean business.  We are serious about it.

“We have their addresses; the plan is to do contact tracing and be sure they are free from the virus so they don’t infect others.

“They are not to be addressed as ‘wanted’, they are simply persons of interest to the Federal Government.

“State governments are also enjoined to work alongside so that we fish them out easily.”

When asked the types of sanctions the government plans for the defaulters, Bassey referred one of our correspondents to the statement released on Sunday on the matter.

The PSC  had in the statement said it would some additional steps to sanction the listed violators.

He listed the sanctions to include disabling their travel passports for a period not less than one year; cancelation of visas/ permits of foreigners that have abused the country’s hospitality; and prosecution under the 2021 Health Protection Regulations.

He had promised to publish an additional list of Batch II defaulters later.

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