By Abujah Racheal
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on (COVID-19) has said it will apprehend, quarantine and ensure inbound passengers disobeying COVID-19 protocols borne the cost of testing for the coronavirus.
Dr Mukhtar Mohammed, PTF National Incident Manager, said this on Monday in Abuja at the PTF COVID-19 national briefing.
“We intend to apply full force of the law over such violators and this includes fines and imprisonment.
“Our aim is not to witch-hunt or punish anyone but to ensure people travel safely and when they return to the country that they do not constitute nuisance to their loved ones and the community.
“PTF is aware of the report of syndicates at some international airports outside Nigeria which specialse in providing fake results to innocent Nigerians who are travelling back home.
“While investigating the matter … I will like to reiterate that it is the responsibility of passengers returning to Nigeria to ensure that they are tested before they start returning.
“You cannot be given a negative result when your samples have not be taken, please understand this and comply,” he said.
According to Mohammed, it is important to note that on arrival here, if you have a fake result, you will be quarantined in any of our facilities and you will bear the expenses of the facility, feeding and the laboratory test and after that you are also liable to prosecution.
Mohammed said that the task force had received reports of technical challenges experienced by people returning to the country, adding that it had set up a backup manual process and communicated same to all relevant stakeholders, including the airlines, the Ministry of Health and diplomatic missions.
He pointed out that technical challenges were bound to occur from time to time.
Mohammed said the task force believed that its technical team would be able to speedily resolve issues as soon as they occurred and that the backup system would also operate as an alternative to the online platform.