The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it has developed a mobile application and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data-codes (USSD) to verify and validate the authenticity of COVID-19 PCR tests done within the private laboratory consortium and all state public laboratories for outbound travellers and flights.
The government explained that the need to mitigate fake coronavirus results being presented by travellers going out of the country that had resulted to diplomatic rows between Nigeria and other countries necessitated the deployed app and USSD codes.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said that following the re-opening of the economy and airport borders, outbound passengers had been mandated to take COVID-19 PCR tests before departing Nigeria as a prerequisite for travel to specific destinations and that some unscrupulous elements have taken advantage of the situation to enrich themselves by falsifying COVID-19 PCR results which they sell to passengers.
Through a statement released on Sunday, the commissioner said that the USSD option, which had been made available on all networks in Nigeria, can also be accessed outside the country with a mobile line belonging to the Nigerian Telecommunications Network.
According to him, the USSD option 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.
He also announced that the Lagos State Government has made the first 30,000 result verification free, adding that subsequent verification would attract N50 per usage for the user and client.
“The Lagos State COVID-19 Result Verification App can be downloaded through Google Store, Apple Store or directly through the internet, using the link https://appsenjoy.com/ZZXaP. It will utilize 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,” the statement said.
The commissioner, however, added that the government would prosecute anyone found in the illegal business of COVID-19 PCR tests results falsification and that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration would continue to strengthen its response against the pandemic ij protecting all Lagosians.