Coronavirus: Reps direct relevant govt agencies to set up screening centres at nation’s entry point

The House of Representatives has directed the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other relevant agencies to set up screening centres at all the nation’s points of entry as a measure of preventing the transmission of the fast-spreading coronavirus into the country.

The House also directed the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with other relevant agencies to set up Testing and Isolation centres at points of entry into the country for purposes of detecting symptoms of the Coronavirus and where necessary isolate concerns, with particular emphasis on travellers from countries that have already had cases of the virus.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance moved at plenary by the House deputy whip, Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia).

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While moving the motion, Rep. Onyejeocha expressed “worries that the coronavirus which originated at a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on the 7th of January, this year had now spread to more than 15 countries including Canada, United States of America, Australia and France.

According to her, ” there are fears that the transmission rate of the virus will be on as hundreds of millions are expected to travel to China for business and pleasure especially during the forthcoming Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations

“Several countries have taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus to their countries or within their counties

“Such measures include strict lockdown of cities, asking anyone who has returned from Wuhan, China in the last 14 days to self-isolate, to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, issued travel warnings against visiting China”.

The lawmaker further expressed concern that “Nigeria and Nigerians being major trading partners with China and also partners with other countries that have been affected by the virus stand a high risk of having the virus transmitted to the country”.

The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put into voice vote by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary.

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