Over 1,900 Nigerian travellers found with possible false COVID-19 negative results ― Tomori

Chairman, Ministerial Experts Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Response, Professor Oyewale Tomori, says no fewer than 1,900 Nigerian travellers were in the last five months found to be COVID-19 positive on arrival at their international destinations including the UK, Ghana and Mali despite negative results before departure from the country.

Professor Tomori, who spoke at the 2021 Health Week of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), University College Hospital, Ibadan Chapter, said that the high number of positive results recorded by international health authorities outside the country implied that some Nigerians were falsifying COVID-19 test results.

He stated: “There are two ways to look at it; one it is either they left the country with fake results or it is still possible that they could have been negative a day or two before leaving the country. However, that large number of positives on arrival at international countries gives the impression that many of them left Nigeria with forged results.”

1,900 Nigerian travellers found with possible false COVID-19 negative resultsProfessor Tomori said faking COVID-19 test results for travels was not without adverse implications including the continued spread of the virus around the globe and Nigeria losing its credibility.

According to him, “with the consistently large number, my fear is that they are sending out a lot of people with forged results. It is becoming known that some Nigerians who don’t get tested are presenting forged negative test results which are a shame because we don’t have a system in the country to check this.”

Tomori, a professor of virology, said that while Nigerians are already heaving a sigh of relief as the third wave associated with the Delta variant wanes, it was not yet time to drop guard and shun prevention guidelines because the deadly coronavirus is a “smart virus” that keeps changing and evolving with new variants.

UCH’s Chief Medical Director, Professor Jesse Otegbayo, represented by Dr Toyin Lawal, the Deputy Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (Education and Training) of the hospital, said the changes in the global landscape due to COVID-19 and demystifying the myths and misconceptions on COVID-19 by health workers will not only be for the welfare of health workers but also the community at large.

In his remarks, (NUAHP), University College Hospital, Ibadan Chapter, Chairman, Comrade Olaayo Olabampe, said the fabricated lies and concocted rumours on covid-19 vaccination were more corrosive than the coronavirus itself and the association owe the society the duty to inform, educate and guide aright on the issue.

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