The Edo State Government has expressed worry over the increasing number of fake details in the manifest of passengers, noting that the falsification of identity was limiting the government’s contact-tracing efforts.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, urged transporters to ensure that passengers give authentic details in the manifest before embarking on any journey.
He noted that the fake phone numbers and wrong addresses in the manifest posed a serious threat to the contact tracing of about 286 persons who have been line-listed.
Okundia, who charged hoteliers not to allow their rooms to be used for self-isolation, said some Persons of Interest (POIs) were residing in hotels and mingling with others, thereby endangering the health and safety of other residents.
The commissioner said, “It has come to the notice of the Edo State Ministry of Health that some unscrupulous passengers now give fake phone numbers and wrong addresses in the manifest provided by transporters, as a way of evading contract-tracing in the eventuality of exposure.
“This is not only a threat to the state government’s efforts at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but jeopardizes the health and safety of family members, and indeed all Edo residents. It is even more unfortunate as the number contacts to infected persons have continued to increase.
“We urge all residents to ensure that they do not give wrong details in the passengers manifest. We also call on transporters and hoteliers not to only adhere to the government’s guidelines to prevent further spread of the infectious disease but ensure that all passengers and clients are properly checked-in with rightful details.”
Okundia added, “As the state government intensifies efforts to contain the pandemic, we urge all residents to stay at home and observe social distancing guidelines and other precautionary measures against the disease, including washing your hands regularly with soap under running water and the use alcohol-based hand sanitisers; cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing. Also do well to report anyone with oversea travel history.”