The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 recently raised the alarm that passengers traveling out of the country are presenting fake Covid-19 results. This is disheartening and should not be allowed to even happen. Nobody should be allowed to endanger the lives of other Nigerians under any guise.
Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, who revealed this said it is embarrassing that some Nigerians have continued to present fake results when traveling outside the shores of the country.
“This remains a major source of concern to the Federal Government. The PTF has directed private laboratories to immediately put in place measures to validate results and ensure that all passengers are registered on the travel portal before samples are processed to stop this activity,” he said.
No doubt , Nigeria is experiencing the second wave of the pandemic and according to reports , it is more infectious and deadlier. We have previously warned on this page that the total collapse of the Covid-19 protocols may lead to a resurgence of the pandemic and we have been proven right by the current development
Sadly, religious houses have practically abandoned all Covid-19 protocols with the mindset that their spirituality will protect them from contracting the deadly virus . Politicians have also not helped matters as we saw a total disregard of the protocols during the bye – election campaigns of last year . Huge crowds were noticed at political rallies and a sizable percentage not observing the protocols.
Also, the #EndSars protests which rocked the country in October last year have arguably led to a spike in the disease. It is equally argued that the reopening of the nation’s airports has substantially contributed to the second wave . Unfortunately, while European countries were experiencing a second wave and more deaths , Nigerians had the mentality that we were exempted from the second wave. The chicken has now come home to roost.
In a country where corruption is almost a way of life , giving fake Covid-19 results at the airport is a new low. Nigeria has hit rock bottom . It is no secret that it’s a regular occurrence at some of our international airports. In some cases, a passenger can get a Yellow Fever certificate at the airports in minutes . This demonic arrangement should not be allowed to fester with the Covid-19 pandemic .
Besides , one of the fastest ways for the Covid-19 pandemic to enter the country are through the airports . This is because many countries are experiencing a new and more deadly variant of the Covid-19 at the moment.
It is gratifying to note in our opinion, that the federal government recently slammed a six month travel ban on violators of Covid-19 protocols .The notice explained that 100 defaulters would be restricted for six months for failure to comply with the mandatory post arrival Covid-19 polymerise chain reaction test. We commend the government for this bold action .
We strongly believe that the only way of preventing a spread of the pandemic is by adhering to non-pharmaceutical methods which involves wearing of facemasks , physical /social distancing and using of hand sanitizers. Our fragile health system cannot survive a another major outbreak of the pandemic.
We also support the move by the government to impose a travel ban on very important persons (VIPs) and government officials flouting COVID-19 protocols. All VIPs and government officials that violate the protocols must be compelled to undergo compulsory COVID-19 tests.
In view of the foregoing, this newspaper is compelled to urge the government to do all in its powers to apprehend those presenting fake certificates at the airports and stop this ugly trend immediately. We also call on the federal government to deal ruthlessly with health Centers presenting fake test results to passengers or airport officials involved in this fraud . In our considered opinion, an example should be made by meting out severe punishments to the offenders .No one should be allowed to get away with this obvious health terrorism.