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FG Scraps PCR Test For Fully Vaccinated Travellers, 193 Ukraine Returnees Test Positive For COVID-19

Boss Mustapha

March 22, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has disclosed that 193 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine, have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being managed according to the nation’s protocols.

The government has also announced that it has revised the International Travel Protocols, which should come into effect on Monday, 4th April, 2022.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made these known on Monday night, during the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 national briefing in Abuja.

This is the first briefing to be held by the PSC since December 2021 and for the year 2022.

Mustapha, who is the Chairman of PSC, revealed that the Port Health Services had so far screened about 2,357 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine for COVID-19 out of the over 8,000 residents or students living in Ukraine.

“Out of these passengers, 193 tested positive to COVID-19 and are managed according to our protocols”, he said.

Meanwhile, Mustapha said fully vaccinated international travellers visiting Nigeria from April 4, 2022, will no longer be required to take the pre-departure Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test.

He, however, said that those in such a category would need to take a free rapid antigen test on arrival at the airport.

According to him, the decisions are part of the nation’s revised international travel protocols.

Mustapha, who said the same protocols for the fully vaccinated will apply to travellers between ages 10 and 18 years. He, however, emphasised that unvaccinated or partially vaccinated international travellers will still be required to take the PCR test 48 hours before boarding a flight to Nigeria.

Mustapha said that the PSC has reviewed these situations around the world and applied such to the situation in Nigeria and have revised the International Travel Protocols (ITP), which should come into effect on Monday, 4th April.

“In-bound (fully vaccinated) passengers arriving in Nigeria will no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test; on arrival, for fully vaccinated passengers, a sample will be taken at the airport for rapid antigen test by the NCDC within the arrival hall of the airport.

“Passengers, who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated shall take a COVID-19 PCR test 48 hours before departure, or do a Day 2 and day 7 test on arrival. Such passengers will be expected to pay for their PCR tests through the travel platform;

“Fully vaccinated passengers will not be charged for arrival rapid antigen tests at the airport; rules that apply to fully vaccinated adults also apply to children aged 10 – 18 years; they will not be required to have pre-arrival PCR tests but will have a sample taken at the arrival hall but not charged.”

He also said that all passengers travelling out of Nigeria are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to fully comply with COVID-19 protocols and requirements in their country of destination.

He also warned Nigerians to be mindful of scammers, especially in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, who come to assist them in accessing the NITP and in the process, register them as children to avoid paying for the post-arrival tests.

“We still have the National Response in place as we continue to monitor global trends and adapt them with our situation in the country.

“There has been a consistent decline in the number of cases around the world, but that does not give us the leverage to let our guards down yet, because there are predictions of rebounds as we can see in China, South Korea, Germany, Vietnam, France, Hong Kong, among others.

“In fact, China has reintroduced lockdowns in some cities due to the spike in cases.

“So far, the world has recorded over 471 million confirmed cases, 6 million deaths and over 11 billion vaccine doses administered, while in Nigeria, we have recorded 255,103 and 3,142 persons have died as a result of COVID-19”, he added.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the number of vaccinated Nigerians, he said over 20 million persons have been vaccinated with at least the first dose, saying that, “This number is not very encouraging, hence, the need for all eligible Nigerians to come out and be vaccinated.”