The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said international travellers from some countries have been presenting fake PCR results on their COVID-19 status just to gain entry into Nigeria.
The PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, made this known on Tuesday at an interactive session with the Joint Senate Committees on Health and Aviation with the meeting between the panel and the PTF being centred on the re-opening of the international airspace and testing procedure for international passengers.
Recall that the country reopened its international airspace on September 5 even though some international airlines like Lufthansa and Air France were banned.
Mr Aliyu who made a fuss that some passengers from 9 of 13 identified countries had presented negative COVID-19 PCR results but later tested positive for the disease said test results presented by the passengers cannot be trusted.
In response to a question from the chairman of the panel, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, on the protocols for testing of passengers and the challenges, Mr aliyu noted that he validity period of PCR results to be presented before boarding has been changed from seven to four days.
“When we started evacuation flights and special flights, the arrangement then was that people coming into the country will need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR result which had to be valid at the time and when they are coming into the country.
“There were situations from specific countries where we had up to 40 per cent of the passengers in a certain flight coming in with negative COVID-19 PCR results but subsequently tested positive.
“We identified 13 countries and of those 13 countries, we had issues with nine of them because they had high rates of such cases. We had meetings with the ambassadors of these countries and raised questions as to why it is happening,” Mr Aliyu explained.