The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to halt all flights from high-risk countries to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion of Matters of Urgent Public Importance by Rep. Luke Onofiok (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) at yesterday’s plenary in Abuja.
Moving the motion earlier, Onofiok said that the seriousness of Coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation branded a global epidemic, had so far affected almost 200,000 persons worldwide and killed over 7,000 in over 60 nations.
“The very far-reaching efforts of governments all over the world including nations such as Ghana and South Africa, where gatherings of more than 50 persons have been prohibited.
“Social distancing of at least 3 feet apart is encouraged, widespread use of sanitisers recommended, and citizens encouraged to stay indoors with some cities and nations on total lockdown.
“In fact workers are encouraged to work from home while students are encouraged to study online,” he said.
Onofiok said that the Ministry of Aviation and security agencies should immediately halt all flights from high-risk countries especially the UK, Spain, Italy, the U.S., China and South Korea.
He, however, said that for Nigerians who would come into the country should be tested on arrival and may be quarantined.
Onofiok called for the suspension of the National Sports Festival scheduled to hold in Edo.
The lawmaker said that the house appreciated the place and importance of sports in national development, harmony and unity.
He said that the sports festival had numerous ways of identifying new talents, building sports infrastructure, promoting friendships and preparing athletes for international competitions.
Onofiok appreciated the Edo State Government for spending substantial public funds on publicity, rehabilitation and upgrading of sporting facilities to welcome other athletes.
He said that virtually all sporting activities in the world such as Tennis, Judo, London Marathon, Formula 1, The U.S. Masters, football competitions among others have been put on hold.
The green chambers recommended that any other activities with a large gathering in the interest of the nation’s health and wellbeing should be called off till further notice.
The house urged all health agencies to work with governments at all levels to upgrade facilities and remain at alert.
Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the relevant committees to ensure compliance.
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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
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