By Sola Ogundipe
The Lagos State Government has deployed a verification platform to validate the authenticity of COVID-19 PCR tests done within the Private Laboratory Consortium and all State Public laboratories for outbound flights.
In a statement, the Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said the platform can be accessed through an App and the use of a USSD option, which is available on all networks in Nigeria, and abroad as long as the mobile line is on a Nigerian Telecommunications Network.
“It can be accessed by dialing *35131*19# on the 9mobile network and *55500*19# on all other networks and following the onscreen prompts to verify results.
“The first 30,000 result verification will be free – courtesy of the Lagos State Government. Subsequent verification attracts N50 per usage for the user/client.”
Further, he said the Lagos State COVID-19 Result Verification App can be downloaded through Google Store, Apple Store or directly through the internet.
“It will utilise the laboratory reference number to verify the COVID-19 PCR test, validating the result real-time, and passengers can download their result sheets, which can be shown to anyone requiring it.
The App version can be used and accessed within and outside of Nigeria but unlike the USSD, does not require a Nigerian Telecommunications Network. It is available once it is downloaded and the internet is available. It is noteworthy to mention that verification through the App is free at all times.
“The process can be used by all clients who require the validation of COVID-19 PCR results, such as Airports, Airlines, Work-related processes, and passengers themselves. The Lagos State Government would also be placing personnel at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport to assist in the verification process of the COVID-19 PCR results for all outbound passengers.
Following the re-opening of the economy and the airport borders, it has become increasingly necessary for outbound passengers to take COVID-19 PCR tests before departing Nigeria as a prerequisite for travel to specific destinations.
“Unfortunately, some unscrupulous elements have taken advantage of the situation to enrich themselves by falsifying COVID-19 PCR results and selling them to passengers.
“The Lagos State Government continues to frown at the falsification of COVID-19 PCR test results, and anyone caught in this illegal practice will be prosecuted. The State Government will continue to strengthen its response against this pandemic to protect the lives and livelihood of all Lagosians and residents.”