COVID-19: Taskforce decrees mandatory testing for incoming travellers

COVID-19: Taskforce decrees mandatory testing for incoming travellers

The Federal Government on Tuesday, January 12, issued a fresh COVID-19 protocol for all international travellers in the country.

According to this new protocol, the travellers are directed to undertake a mandatory COVID-19 test at least 96 hours before departure from their various destinations.

They are also expected to repeat the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test seven days after arrival in the country.

PTF wrote: “Revised Protocol: All International travellers arriving in Nigeria must conduct a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test within 4 days (96 hours) before departure.”

In the initial protocols, the travellers – except those from the United Kingdom and South Africa – are expected to undergo a compulsory PCR test at least 120 hours before departure.

They are also expected to repeat the COVID-19 test seven days after arrival in Nigeria.

The revised protocol was part of the government’s renewed effort at checking the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which had taken a dangerous dimension in the last few weeks in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), on Tuesday, January 12, implored the Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to resume academic activities at the nation’s public universities.

Also, the NANS mandated its chapters across all tertiary institutions to inaugurate COVID-19 task force teams; to enforce all guidelines outlined by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19; and ensure the safe reopening of schools.

This was contained in a statement issued by the NANS President, Sunday Asefon; in a statement made available to the media on Tuesday.

1st News had earlier reported that ASUU, on December 24, 2020, conditionally suspended its nine-month-long strike; after a lot of foot-dragging by the union and the Federal Government.

Also Read: Amotekun: A monster that will be worse than SARS – Seye Olaniyonu

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 subsequently ordered schools to remain closed till January 18, 2021; to contain the spike in COVID-19 infections in the country.

The National Universities Commission later asked universities to comply with the directive; but the PTF on Monday said the January 18 date is subject to review.

In its response, NANS said, “Rather than postpone schools’ resumption, it has become imperative to address the alarming spread of COVID-19 and rising cases of deaths from a position of environmental strategy and human coordination since the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality.

“The federal government is immediately urged to rethink its approach; and take only actions that can get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems; like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks; and complying with COVID Safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread.

“Consequently, the National Association of Nigerian Students is undertaking to prevail on students union bodies; to set up Students Task Force Against COVID-19 in every school; while asking the Federal Government to rejig its basic COVID guidelines for schools resumption.”

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