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NCDC orders mandatory COVID-19 test for travellers

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, says no fewer than 18,000 positive cases of the coronavirus disease have been detected from inbound travellers to Nigeria.

Dr Adetifa made the disclosure on Friday as he argued in favour of the order by the NCDC for travellers to Nigeria to undergo compulsory coronavirus testing.

He said the decision aimed at ensuring a balance in the mandate to protect the health of Nigerians.

In a statement titled ‘Update in the use of Nigerian International Travel Portal’, which was issued to journalists in Abuja, Dr Adetifa explained that the decision to make repeat tests mandatory in Nigeria was based on the review of COVID-19 test positivity data among returnees to the country, during the first and subsequent waves of the pandemic.

He said: “This was necessary for ensuring a balance between our mandate to protect the health of Nigerians from more infections and supporting the restart of the economy, including international travel.

“As of January 16, 2022, over 18,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded from inbound travellers to Nigeria. Therefore, the associated risk of disease transmission is not trivial.”

Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor