The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said on Sunday over 27,000 passengers had arrived in the country from abroad since the resumption of international flight operations on September 5.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this at a town hall meeting organized by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) in Abuja, said 18,000 passengers came in through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and 9,000 through the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.
He said the task force came up with stringent procedures because that was required to limit the “importation of COVID-19 to Nigeria, prevent transmission during the flight and reduce the quarantine period.”
He told the Nigerians in the Diaspora that public laboratories were not allowed to conduct COVID-19 testing as the Federal Government cannot afford it.
Aliyu said: “It is not something that government can afford; we will run out of test kits.”
He said the government was trying to push the cost of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) down for private laboratories who would in turn work within the travel sector line.
The coordinator stressed that the advantage of testing before boarding was to stop people with COVID-19 from coming to Nigeria as the test was expected to be done 120 hours before boarding.
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