By Naomi Sharang
Abuja – The Senate has urged the Federal Government to allocate more funds to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in order to acquire the latest equipment for research and diagnosis of tropical diseases that threatened human existence.
The resolution was sequel to a motion during plenary on Thursday sponsored by Chairman Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, Sen. Chukwuka Utazi.
The motion is entitled “Coronavirus Outbreak and Preventive Response Toward Stopping the Scourge in Nigeria.”
The upper chamber also urged Nigerian desirous of travelling to Asia especially China to heed the Federal Government travel advisory on China and put their travel arrangements on hold till further notice and until the outbreak of the virus was vanquished from the face of the earth.
“Senate also urges the Federal Ministry of Aviation to ensure that all persons arriving from China especially the Chinese citizens of Nigeria that traveled home for the Chinese Lunar new year festivities or from any country that has the major disease outbreak to self isolate.
“This is by staying indoors in their homes for at least two weeks before mixing with the Nigerian public.”
Moving the motion, Utazi said that according to medical definition, coronavirus was a type of common virus that infested humans typically leading to upper respiratory infection.
“Health officials fear the number of infected people will rise rapidly as hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel within China and abroad during the week long lunar new year holidays.”
He further noted that the ministry of health through NCDC, a product of the 8th National Assembly legislation had risen to the occasion and was closely monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the virus.
While supporting the motion, Sen. Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano North) described the motion as people-oriented.
He said that the motion was a wakeup call to employ preventive measures so that the disease did not get into the country.
“We need to take steps so as to safeguard our citizens,” he said.
Sen. James Manager, (PDP-Delta South) said that the virus was a terrible disease” I am surprised that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not qualified it as an International Health Emergency.”
“I am happy that here in Nigeria, we are rising up to the occasion. That means we are learning from history; this is another Ebola.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all the resolutions of the motion were unanimously adopted by the senators after a voice vote by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.