Covid-19: FG To Prosecute Passengers Absconding Quarantine

The Federal Government through its ministry of health has expressed displeasure at the rate with which passengers coming into the country were absconding quarantine.

Dr. Emmanuel Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister of Health hinted this while briefing newsmen in Abuja today.

TheFact Nigeria recalls that the presidential steering committee on Covid-19 had given a standing order for all passengers coming in to the country from high risk countries to self isolate for 7days.

To enforce this, the Federal Ministry of Health Point of Entry (PoE) pillar of the COVID-91 response had continuously monitored passenger arrivals especially from high-risk countries like India, Turkey, and Brazil.

However a recent record showed that more people are flaunting the guidelines, to this, the minister said:

“Nigeria is at increased risk if we continue to neglect public health protocols placed at points of entry, which are our first line of defence and a critical point of concern,” he warned.

He added that: “The severity of this disease should NOT be disregarded as it is still a primary cause of concern, even in countries with stronger health systems,” said Dr. Ehanire.

Going further, the Minister disclosed that COVID-19 treatment bed occupancy was recording an increase given the established emergence of a third wave.

“In preparation, FMoH has taken steps to urgently scale-up and enhance local oxygen capacity even before oxygen consumption increases. Nigeria has invested directly and strategically to ensuring oxygen availability to avert unforeseen incidence of oxygen insufficiency for COVID-19 patients in the country.

“On our push for COVID-19 vaccine sufficiency, we are expecting over 29 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines purchased by the Government of Nigeria through the African Union AVATT facility; and over 4 million Moderna and almost 700 thousand AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX facility from bilateral donations from the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom; as well as Pfizer and Sinopharm from both bilateral agreements and through the COVAX facility.

“Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a one dose vaccine, will be advantageous for our context with weak Civil Registration Vital Statistics (CRVS) and a nomadic population. We expect to take delivery of these vaccines within this 3rd quarter with the Johnson & Johnson expected this August,” he said.

He entreated all persons to comply with the Port Health staff or risk facing sanctions, including prosecution and encouraged the public to support government efforts and embrace optimism for health in the country.

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