The Lagos State government has raised the alarm over the possible third wave of COVID- 19 pandemic in Lagos arising from importation of new strains from inbound travellers, especially in countries like India, Brazil, Argentina, Iraq, Qatar, Peru and Uruguay being currently ravaged by a vicious third or fourth wave.
The government warned that all the strides gained in the fight against the COVID- 19 pandemic would be lost, if the nation’s borders are left porous and unprotected against the importation of new and mutant strains which may trigger the oncoming of a third wave.
Hence, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is the Incident Commander in the state, has directed the state government to immediately enforce all the protocols just announced by the Federal Government for every inbound person which include banning entry to non- Nigerian passengers who have been in Brazil, India or Turkey in the last fortnight due to concerns over the spread of Coronavirus in those three nations.
He added that Nigerians and permanent residents of Nigeria who have been in those countries in the last 14 days will have to undergo mandatory quarantine for a week in a governmentapproved facility on arrival and all passengers arriving in Nigeria will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel rather than the previous 96 hours period.
Following the directives, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this, said that he had instructed that all these protocols be made more stringent to protect the residents of Lagos State from an impending third wave. As part of these protocols,
Abayomi said passengers are to mandatorily isolate for the required seven days and will be strictly monitored through phone calls by our EKOTELEMED platform and physical visits to the passengers’ homes by the state’s surveillance teams. He said that the state government must urgently take steps to prevent another wave of COVID-19, following the flattening of the second wave.
“We are seeing a significant dip in the number of positive cases and deaths – going by the low occupancy rate in our isolation centers, reduction in the demand for oxygen and the positivity rate that has decreased from around an all-time high 35% in December 2020 to 1.5% as at April 2021.
“The trigger for a third wave in Lagos is likely to be the importation of new COVID strains from inbound travellers.
It is important to reiterate at this point that passengers are still required to be in receipt of a negative COVID-19 PCR test at least 72hours before departure to and landing in Lagos State, book and pay for their day 7 test either through the National portal, nitp.ncdc. gov.ngand/or the Lagos State portal COVID19.lagosstatebiobank. com. All passengers must have paid for their tests before arrival in Lagos State. Failure to do this will result in delays at the airport,” he said.
On the authority of Mr. Governor, the commissioner added that anyone found to have either broken this rule or supplied a fake phone number or address in a bid to escape the laid down protocols will be identified and made to mandatorily isolate at any of our government or public private partnership isolation centers or identified hotels for 10 days at their cost, in addition to a stipulated fine.