Nigeria’s federal government has revoked the visas issued to 27 Indians in addition to placing a tag of Persons of Interests on 63 Nigerians.
This action followed the failure of the affected persons to follow the COVID- 19 testing protocols and mandatory arrival quarantine for international passengers arriving from India, Brazil, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates where the new but deadly variant COVID-19 virus is spreading.
The Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha announced the measures against the passengers in a signed public statement issued on Sunday.
He said the violators arrived in Nigeria through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja between May 8 and 15, 2021.
In this latest move, which was a radical departure from the previous action of merely publishing the passport number of the violators, the federal government has for the time published the names in addition to the passport numbers of the defaulters.
In the list released by the PSC, 90 persons from Nigeria and India were found to have violated the Health Protection Regulations after arriving in Nigeria from restricted countries.
Mustapha said that apart from the sanction imposed on the violators, the federal government will in addition take further steps, which, include the disabling of travel passports and prosecution of the foreign and Nigerian offenders under the 2021 Health Protection Regulations.
The PSC Chairman stated that the indiscretion of the persons of interests constituted an immediate health hazard to the society.
It subsequently warned the violators to report to the nearest public health departments within 48 hours for immediate evaluation.
He said the travel advisory for passengers arriving in Nigeria from Brazil, India, and Turkey was a necessary precautionary measure step to mitigate the risk of importation of the variants of concern and break the chain of transmission to the population.
He regretted that the 90 passengers arriving from/or that have visited any of these three countries did not observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine and testing protocol before visiting Nigeria.
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja