As the number of Nigerians affected with coronavirus disease, COVID-19 increases, the Senate has told President Muhammadu Buhari to close all airports except the ones in Lagos and Abuja, suspend the visa-on-arrival policy, set up special intervention fund and address the nation on measures being taken to halt its spread in the country.
Senate also urged the federal government to suspend airlines that travel to coronavirus prone areas.
It also called for an emergency meetings of the National Council of Health to harmonise experiences and responses of Ministries of Health in the states, adding that the federal government and Nigerians must be kept abreast of all measures and developments related to coronavirus globally.
The Senate, which challenged President Buhari to tell Nigerians the efforts of the federal government in curtailing the disease, pledged to give full support to the federal government to fight the scourge.
These resolutions were sequel to the consideration of a motion raised via Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules by Senator Danjuma Goje.
Leading debate on the motion, Senator Goje noted that all the 50 states in the United States are affected, adding that even though the government is doing well, its efforts are not enough.
In her contribution, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, said the outbreak of the disease is a wake -up call for Nigerians to take personal hygiene seriously, adding that Nigerians should not go about in fear.
Also, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said because Nigeria’s borders are porous, foreign nationals now use the land borders as entry and exit route to and from the country. He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Health to immediately place a ban on citizens of countries already affected by the coronavirus disease.
But Senator Jibrin Barau advised authorities of churches and hotels to introduce the use of testers in identifying infected persons so as to control the spread of the dreaded disease.
Senator Emmanuel Bwacha believes that, “we (Nigeria) are the largest black nation in the world, and our borders are very porous. The dangers that this virus will bring upon us because of our policy will be very dangerous.
“Once you’re not a Nigerian, we should stop them at the border and ask them to return to where they are coming from.”
However, Senator George Sekibo said, “Even those that have the technology to solve the problem, the virus is still spreading without respecting any person”.
Also contributing, Senator Ibrahim advocated for more resources to enable Nigeria establish test centres across states of the federation.
He stressed that the availability of funds will ensure effective tracking, testing and quarantining of anyone who comes in contact with persons identified to be infected with the disease.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, called for improved measures to be taken so as prevent uncontrollable outbreak of the disease in the country.
He cautioned that, “even if our environment is hostile to Coronavirus, we need to be extremely careful. We won’t know when it adjusts to the environment and become very potent.”
Source: Voice of Nigeria