The Federal Government has vowed to sanction returning passengers who abscond from quarantine facilities, including possible prosecution of such individuals.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, believed such persons constitute a major risk to the country’s health system.
He raised concerns over reports from port health officials that some passengers from high risks countries have continued to abscond from facilities where they were quarantined.
The minister said, the Federal Ministry of Health Point of Entry (PoE) pillar of the COVID-19 response has been continuously monitoring passenger arrivals especially from high-risk countries like India, Turkey, and Brazil.
He maintained that all persons must comply with the port health staff or risk facing sanctions, including prosecution. Non-compliance with their directives constitutes a risk to national health security and will be handled with commensurate severity.
Mr. Osagie noted that the world has witnessed an increase in reported cases of COVID-19 across a significant number of countries, due to the high transmissibility of the Delta Variant.
He explained that the threat included importation from countries that were popular travel destinations for Nigerians, including the United Kingdom, United States, UAE, France, and Turkey, which have a high incidence of the virulent strain.