Nigerian senate slams FG over Coronavirus

Ahmed Lawan

Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Nigerian Senate, on Thursday, accused the Federal Ministry of Health of not putting serious measures in place to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria.

He, however, asked the Senate Committee on Primary Health Care to liaise with the ministry to intensify screening of passengers at the nation’s airports and seaports.

Lawan stated this following a point of order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ajayi Boroffice.

Boroffice drew the attention of the Senate to the failure of health personnel at the airports and seaports to screen passengers coming into the country.

Recall, an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve center, is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in sub Saharan Africa, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The man works in Nigeria and had returned from Milan to Lagos on February 25, the ministry said. “The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” the ministry said in a statement.
“We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria,” the ministry added, urging citizens not to panic. “Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic,” it said.

The senator said the coronavirus screening at the South African airport usually takes up to 30 minutes before passengers would be allowed to disembark the aircraft.

He said the situation was different on his arrival at the Nigerian airport, when the health officials at the nation’s airports merely issued a form to passengers to indicate if they were sick or not.

He said, “There is no form of any screening of passengers for coronavirus by Nigerian officials at the airport.

“It’s worrisome, situations where travelers coming into the country were not dully screened for the dreaded virus based on his experience at the airport.”

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