The year 2020 was ravaged by physical restrictions as a consequence of the ravaging Covid-19. This global outbreak which leads to a pandemic overtly disrupted the daily algorithm of every individual and caused the infections and death of millions of people. As a result of this epidemic, travels were restricted globally to limit its spread. Nigeria was one of the countries immensely affected by this health crisis with millions, or recorded deaths and infections.
Though Nigeria was declared Covid free earlier, reports have indicated that Nigeria is keeping to its Covid-19 travel protocols. Dr. Muktar Muhammad, The Coordinator and Technical Head of the Presidential Steering Committee Secretariat on Covid-19 has noted that Nigeria was still maintaining its Covid-19 travel protocols for disease surveillance to further protect Nigerians. He stated that the protocols had not been fully removed, with about 85 countries still requiring pre-departure test, 30 countries still requiring quarantine and another 45 countries.
Relaxing Covid-19 travel protocols to be enacted with caution.
Dr. Mohammad revealed this during his media appearance on Tuesday. He said that regardless of the Covid free declaration of numerous countries globally, Covid-19 had still not been completely eradicated and thus, the need to blatantly relax the Covid-travel protocols had to be enacted with immense caution. He then averted that with the implementation of the health declaration form scheme, the government’s ability to further track diseases have been enhanced, creating an ambience to boost the healthcare system in the country.
He noted that without this form, the task of tracking viruses like Covid and Corona would be a very difficult one. Dr. Mohammad stated that the advent of this Health Declaration Form would help the government with crucial information about when a person arrives, their contact phone number, where they are going to be staying and the system would track and identify them, either through the Ministry of Health or the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control. He also revealed that district officials were in place to pick up people with detected symptoms almost immediately.
Diseases like Ebola and Covid poised to cause havoc within hours.
On the spread of these viruses, Dr. Mohammad stated that diseases like Ebola and Covid-19 were posed to cause serious havoc within a matter of hours. Mohammad said that the health declaration form could be uploaded to the country’s server within minutes, adding that the form was significantly useful in the contact tracing mechanism. He noted that in planes for instance, the form scheme helps to identify poignant information such as an individual’s seat number, the risk epicenter and everyone at risk.
With the form, Dr. Mohammad noted that everyone at risk would not just be recognized but tracked and monitored as a result of the health threat that they posed to the society at large. Thus, he explained that the health scheme helped in pinpointing people and monitoring their health progressions, as these diseases do not manifest immediately. In fact, he noted that these Health Declaration Forms were also available across all the country’s borders.
For this health protocol, vaccinated individuals are free to board anywhere.
Dr. Muktar Mohammad indicated that for this health protocol, individuals with full Covid-19 vaccination did not have to do much. Upon submission of the Health Declaration Form, they were free to travel anywhere and granted access into the country. However, with partially vaccinated and unvaccinated people, Dr. Mohammad said there was to be intense access dilemma and as such, it would be important to test them before boarding the plane and retested on the second and third day of arrival. He added that these were modalities for ensuring the protection of lives in the country.