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18,000 Travellers Coming Into Nigeria Test Positive for COVID-19 – NCDC

At least 18,000 inbound travellers to Nigeria tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few weeks. This fact was provided by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa, during the weekend. The NCDC boss provided this figure against the background that travellers to Nigeria must get tested for coronavirus again after their arrival.

In a statement titled “Update in the use of Nigeria International Travel Portal,” Adetifa stated that the NCDC reviewed travel protocols in the country following the COVID-19 test positivity data among inbound travellers after several waves of the pandemic.

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

Adetifa made it clear that the federal government responded to this need by launching the Nigeria International Travel Portal under the directive of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-10 with collaboration with the Coalition Against COVID-19. He said the portal had been operative since September 5, 2020 when international flights resumed after the lockdown to prevent the importation of the disease into the country.

“Since its launch, the NITP has been updated frequently over time and more recently, there was an upgrade in October 2021, to enable a more user-friendly experience for travellers, laboratories, and other users,” the NCDC chief disclosed.

Nigeria confirmed 236 new COVID-19 infections across the country on Friday. The NCDC said the new cases were confirmed in 10 states and the FCT, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 251,930 and recoveries to 225,906 with 3,124 associated deaths.