COVID-19: FG Arrests 422 Travellers With Fake Vaccination Cards

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The Federal Government said the Port Health Services (PHS) has nabbed 422 persons intending to use fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to travel between July and August 2022. 

The director, PHS, Dr. Geoffrey Okatubo, 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. 

Okatubo said the 422 individuals were apprehended while trying to get clearance at the airports and have since been handed over to the security agencies. 

“We, therefore, advice that vaccination cards be got at the approved health facilities,” as the PHS continues to heighten surveillance for all infectious diseases in the country’s ports. 

“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, the assistant director and head of the response division, NCDC, Dr. Aderinola Olaolu said that monkeypox has spread to 30 states in the country with 318 confirmed cases. 

Olaolu said that the country has also recorded 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. 

“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. 

Racheal Abujah
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