COVID-19: LASG raises alarm over inability to reach 18% of 50,322 air passengers of interest
July 12, 2021
The Lagos State Government has disclosed that 18 per cent of 50,322 air passengers of interest, who arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), could not be reached for COVID-19 status monitoring by EKOTELEMED because they supplied wrong contact details.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, also imposed restrictions and sanctions after disclosing that the State’s daily cases of COVID-19 confirmation had shot up to 6.6 per cent over a period of one week.
Going forward, the Governor ordered sanctioning of in-bound air passengers that failed to provide verifiable contact details, including accessible phone numbers they can be reached for monitoring.
Sanwo-Olu said air passengers would face prosecution, including fines and imprisonment in line with the Lagos State Coronavirus Law of 2021.
The Governor said: “In spite of our hard work and dedicated efforts towards sustaining the return to normalcy, over the last three months, after the flattened the curve of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, we are now finding ourselves at what appears to be the start of a potential third wave of the pandemic in Lagos State. From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases.
“The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern. Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our isolation centres increased to an average of six per cent. This is the disturbing reality that now confronts us. As directed by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), passengers from red-listed countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey) are required to observe mandatory isolation.
“We have successfully isolated 2,386 passengers in Lagos. Of this number, 15 per cent have absconded. Sanctions are being recommended and have already been meted out to defaulters. Revocation of Permanent Residency and deportation are being meted out to foreign nationals defaulting the protocols. For Nigerians, there will be prosecution to the full extent of the Lagos State COVID-19 Law of 2021.”
The Governor said there should be compulsory use of masks in all public places, while also directing social distancing, compulsory temperature checks, provisions for hand-washing and sanitizers, and maximum of 50 per cent occupancy in enclosed spaces.
He said: “It is understandable that many are tired and want their old, pre-pandemic lives to return. Unfortunately, we do not have a choice in this regard, and fatigue is not an option. We cannot afford to be tired, frustrated or distracted. Without the cooperation of the public at large, we stand the risks of losing both lives and livelihood, on a devastating scale.