The Lagos State Government has expressed concern over the sale of counterfeit COVID-19 test results as the second wave of the pandemic sweeps through the state.
During a press conference on Monday, in Lagos, Akin Abayomi, the Commissioner for Health, described the emergence of a black market option of fake COVID-19 test results for travellers as dangerous.
The commissioner said the state government would clamp down on peddlers of fake COVID-19 test results.
“We are currently putting in place processes to identify both buyers and sellers and we will not hesitate to prosecute them,” Abayomi said.
Lagos is a major entry point into the country and has remained the epicentre of the pandemic for long.
After Nigeria lifted the ban on air travel, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in collaboration with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 it requested travellers to present negative COVID-19 test results before entering or leaving the country as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
But an investigation by The Cable newspaper in November exposed how government officials had been involved in the practice of forging or purchasing fake COVID-19 results and so contributed to the second wave of the ravaging pandemic in Lagos.
Admitting the surfacing of counterfeit test results, Abayomi said, “Positivity for inbound travellers is on the rise as Nigerians in the diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos. It has come to our attention that a number of people are patronising individuals that sell fake COVID-19 results.”
He said that contact tracing had been made difficult for health workers as a result of the development.
Dr Isaac Ehanire, the Minister of Health, was not available to say what the Federal Government would do to check the trend.
However, the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health, Jimi Oyetomi, told HumAngle by telephone: “I have no comment and more so, I’m on holiday.”
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