Task Force on COVID-19 takes steps to decongest airports




Air travellers intending to come into Nigeria will not be allowed to board aircraft without a Quick Response (QR) code certifying that they are COVID-19-free, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, has said.

Dr. Aliyu, who made the pronouncement on Monday in Abuja, told newsmen that the step had become necessary to ease congestion on arrival at airports and to avoid the spread of infections.

He explained that with more than 4,000 passengers arriving in Lagos and Abuja on daily basis, the use of paper at the airports was not sustainable.

He added that with the online procedure, it would be easier to manage passenger flow, more so that Nigeria has increased the number of passengers that could fly into the country.

“We have already increased the number of passengers that could fly into Lagos to 2,500 per day while that of Abuja has been increased to 1,600 a day.

“We cannot continue to handle paper work with this number of passengers coming into Nigeria,’’ he said.

Dr, Aliyu added that the online procedure to produce the QR certificate before proceeding to the airport would also reduce passengers stress on arrival at the terminal bindings.

“The portal has three sections. The first section has to do with filling a straightforward questionnaire. The second step is to upload the COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) result that should be negative at the point of boarding.

“At this stage you have two options, either to go ahead and pay or download your QR Code.

“If you chose to download the temporary QR code, you can print it and board with it and pay on arrival in Nigeria.

“Our strong recommendation is that if you do not want to spend too much time at the airport, print out the final QR Code. If you have the final QR Code it takes minutes to go through the airport protocol in Nigeria.

“Since passengers’ filled questionnaire and PCR result can be seen online it is easy to check after seven days if a passenger tested positive and we can easily go back and check whether what we have on our system is genuine PCR result or not.

“Also, we will check the questionnaire to see if an intending passenger admitted that he or she had some symptoms prior to boarding. It is either that such passenger incubated the illness or picked up the virus on the way in or it’s possible that a wrong test was done,’’ he said.

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