Lesser hajj returnees to be quarantined, Lagos Govt says


By Jake Aimuan

Lagos State government has announced that Nigerian passengers returning to the country after performing the lesser hajj must undergo a seven-day isolation.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, stated this at a press briefing on Wednesday, saying that the state was committed to strict enforcement of the prescribed COVID-19 travel protocols, especially for overseas travelers coming into the state.

He said that, as part of the efforts by the state Governor to mitigate the third wave of the COVID-19 in Lagos, the state government has placed 14 countries on watch-list.

He added that Lagos inbound international travellers were being classified into three categories on the basis of their originating countries: “The Red Countries, the Amber Countries and the Green Countries.”

The health commissioner said that India, Brazil and Turkey, where new variants of COVID-19 originated and are rapidly increasing, especially in the past seven days, were classified as the Red Countries, while the Amber Countries included countries currently experiencing active community transmission of the new variants which originated from the Red Countries.

He added that the Green Countries were countries with no known variants of COVID-19 or records of variants from the Red Countries and no clear increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.

Abayomi listed the 14 countries that form the Amber Countries to include Canada, USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroun, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, adding that the state government would closely monitor inbound flights from the Red and Amber Countries.

The state health commissioner said, “Our protocol for management of inbound passengers from the Red Countries will include a mandatory PCR test 72 hours before departure, PCR test post-arrival and a 14-day isolation in a government approved facility paid for by the passenger.

“Passengers from the 14 countries are also required to do a PCR test 72 hours before departure; PCR test post arrival and a mandatory seven days isolation at home, which will be monitored by our logistics, surveillance and EkoTELEMED team.

“Nigerians returning from lesser hajj will have to undergo a compulsory seven-day self-isolation.

“The state will not hesitate to prosecute anyone, irrespective of status, who fails to comply with the directive.”

He however said that passengers from India, Turkey and Brazil were required to pre-register and fill a travel registration form on the Federal Government’s COVID-19 travel portal and pre-book for a PCR test and isolation accommodation.

According to him, the Lagos State House of Assembly had recently passed into law the Lagos State Coronavirus Pandemic Law 2021, which gave him the power to order a quarantine and sanction anyone who flouted the law.

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