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OMICRON VARIANT: WE’LL PROSECUTE ANYONE FLOUTING COVID-19 GUIDELINES, TRAVEL PROTOCOLS- SANWO-OLU

…Offenders’ passports to be blacklisted for one year.

…Gov warns against procurement of fake COVID-19 test results

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said his government through the courts will prosecute anyone found wanting in compliance with the current guidelines on travel protocols released by the Presidential Steering Committee.

Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government in partnership with the Presidential Steering Committee will commence the prosecution of those that refuse to submit themselves for the mandatory tests by blacklisting their passports for a period of one year.

“All foreigners that flout the rules would be subjected to possible deportation. Therefore, I implore all intending inbound passengers to perform their required tests at any of the private laboratories within the Lagos State Private Laboratory Consortium as and when due,” the governor said in a statement he issued and signed on Tuesday.

The current guidelines on travel protocols released by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, which must be followed by all passengers arriving in Nigeria are; a COVID-19 PCR test to be done within 48hrs before departure; Post arrival Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test; All partially and unvaccinated individuals to self-isolate for seven days following arrival into the country and a Day 7 release PCR test; All outbound passengers to demonstrate evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19; and Negative PCR test result within 48hrs from the time to boarding a flight out of Nigeria.

Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that despite the huge financial obligations and constraints associated with managing the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration will continue to do everything within its power to ensure the preservation of the lives and livelihood of residents of Lagos State.

He said Regulation of Day 2 and Day 7 tests for inbound passengers for International flights are mandatory to assist Lagos State monitor the inflow of positive passengers, which it has identified as a veritable source of waves and community spread of the virus.

The governor also warned against intending outbound passengers procuring fake COVID test results and/or vaccination cards for travel purposes, disclosing that “the State Government is currently working with the NCDC, DSS and the Nigerian Police Force to investigate and bring to book the criminal gangs involved in this reprehensible activity.”

“We implore everyone to desist from patronizing these gangs, as anyone found with a fake COVID test result and/or vaccination card will also be liable to prosecution and very stiff penalties.

“Our State Mobile Courts will be used to prosecute all those involved in flouting the regulations; as well as those engaged in the fraudulent production of fake covid test results and vaccination certificates. To this end, the Lagos State Ministry of Health is collaborating with various enforcement stakeholders from the Ministry of Justice and the Task Force to ensure prompt prosecution of these individuals.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos like in other parts of the world, including Africa, is experiencing the beginning of a fourth wave with a current positivity rate of six per cent, which is against the positivity rates of 0.1 per cent as of the middle of November 2021 in the State.

“Based on our analysis, the fourth wave was brought by the non-adherence to the laid down protocols to mitigate this pandemic. I would want to use this opportunity once again to appeal to everyone to get vaccinated and join hands with the Lagos State Government in managing this wave of the pandemic in this festive season by following the guidelines we have set, especially regarding the use of face masks, public gatherings and travelling in and out of Lagos State,” he said.

Speaking on efforts being put in place by the Lagos State Government to mitigate the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration has deployed a robust strategy that involves the private sector to improve access to vaccines.

“Our approach to mitigating the effects of the ongoing wave of the COVID-19 pandemic includes increasing the percentage of vaccinated residents of Lagos State from 1.6 percent to 30 percent within one year. I have specifically mandated the Lagos State Ministry of Health to administer eight million doses to four million residents of Lagos State people by the 25th of December 2021 under the Count Me In campaign.

“We are launching 30 private priority sites for those who want to be vaccinated within a private health facility. While vaccination at public centres remains free, there is an administration fee (N4,500 per dose and N6,000 for two doses) at private centres. To register for the vaccination, please visit the registration portal at https://nphcda.vaccination.gov.ng/

“Over the next couple of days, the Lagos State Government would release policies to facilitate the uptake of vaccines to achieve desirable herd immunity,” the governor said.

As parts of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, especially during the festive period, Governor Sanwo-Olu said occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 60 percent of maximum design capacity as stipulated by the Lagos State Safety Commission, adding that attendees of social gatherings must present their Vaccination Cards or digital bar code page showing at least first dose but preferably double dose full vaccination.

Speaking on the Epidemiology Update, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that: “As of the 5th of December 2021, Lagos State had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 71,977 have recovered in the community and 612 are currently being managed actively in the community. Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 6,066 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos: with 686 registered fatalities.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu who commended the frontline workers and health workers at the State and federal levels for their dedication and commitment in the management of the response to the pandemic implored all residents of Lagos to comply with all the COVID-19 guidelines and join hands with the government in the management of the pandemic.

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