Home News COVID-19: FG nabs 422 travellers with fake vaccination cards between July, August

COVID-19: FG nabs 422 travellers with fake vaccination cards between July, August

by Haruna Gimba

By Iyemah David

The Federal Government of Nigeria said it has nabbed 422 persons intending to use fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to travel between July and August 2022.

They were, however, discovered following prompts by the Port Health Services (PHS).

Dr Geoffrey Okatubo, Director, PHS, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, during the Ministerial bi-weekly meeting on the update of COVID-19 response and development in the country’s health sector.

According to reports, many unscrupulous Nigerians now resort to forgery in their desperate bid to procure COVID-19 vaccination cards without getting the vaccines.

The racketeering takes place through connivance between some corrupt government officials and desperate travel agencies. The Federal Government has, however, vowed to prosecute those caught in the illegal act.

Okatubo said that the 422 individuals were apprehended while trying to pass through the clearance process at the airport.

He said that they have been handed over to the security agencies.

“We, therefore, advice that vaccination cards should be gotten at the approved health facilities,” he said.

He said that PHS has continued to heighten surveillance for all infectious diseases in the country’s port.

“Particularly for COVID-19, Monkeypox, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and Marburg Disease.

“PHS tracks passengers coming into the country with the current outbreak of Marburg Disease and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

“Our data shows that 96 per cent of passengers at the country airports are fully vaccinated,” he said.

He, however, reiterated that PHS is committed to effectively managing the border’s health security.

Meanwhile, Dr Aderinola Olaolu, Assistant Director & Head of Response Division at NCDC, said that monkeypox has Spread to 30 states in the country with 318 confirmed cases.

Olaolu said that the country has also 815 suspected cases and seven deaths since the beginning of 2022.

According to him, Globally, Since January 1, 2022, 102 Member States have reported more than 52,000 laboratory-confirmed cases to WHO, including 18 deaths.

He said that the country’s response continues with the development of monkeypox risk communication materials, provision of support to states with case identification, and SORMAS reporting also.

“With regards to infection, prevention and control, we continue to train personal protective equipment (IPC), and focal persons and develop IPC guidelines.

“Laboratory activities have continued and are being strengthened in areas of sample collection, and genomic sequencing.

“We recently held a meeting with key partner support, establishing areas of monkeypox research priorities including understanding animal reservoirs, population exposure, and genomics of transmission chains,” he explained.

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