The Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu has assured air passengers of ongoing work to improve entry processes with the use of the international travel portal.
The assurance is coming on the heels of series of complains and difficulties intending and arriving passengers face as regards payment for COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in the country.
Dr. Aliyu gave the assurance during the PTF briefing.
Since the reopening of the nation’s airspace to international flights and launch of the international travel portal, statistics show that over 27,000 passengers arrived the country through the Lagos and Abuja airports.
A breakdown as revealed by the PTF, over 18,000 came in through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos while Abuja a little over 9,000.
Of these numbers of passengers 99.8% had a negative COVID-19 PCR test results.
However, intending passengers have suffered some incovienences in trying to use the travel portal for payment of the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Nigeria.
Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu says the PTF was working assiduously to make the process more streamlined and easier to navigate.
He explained that the travel portal is Nigeria’s innovation for controlling the spread of COVID-19 and makes travel possible and seamless for the passengers.
Dr. Aliyu appealed to passengers to bear with the task force and Report any issues faced using the portal and to support them in flattening the curve.
“With an operation of this scope and skill there are bound to be issues that will arise, this is an IT system, it is not perfect, we are humans talk less of computers and especially with the travel portal that is relatively new, it was immediately implemented because of the pressure for opening of the international airports. Without the travel portal we probably would still have been struggling to open up the international airports safely.”
The PTF coordinator stressed that it was important to have an electronic system in place to effectively check when things go wrong, capture and monitor passengers with COVID-19 results.
“We cannot continue handling paper copies because it is very difficult based on the number of passengers we have, we between 5,000 to 7,000 passengers when fully opened coming into the country everyday and the amount of paperwork generated is huge.”
Dr. Aliyu said the PTF was working with its partner CACOVID to implement a 24 hours customer service hotline with the NCDC as well as customer service Representatives stationed at the airports.