Members of the House of Representatives have called on the federal government to halt all flights from UK, Spain, Italy, the USA, China and South Korea, where there are high cases of the dreaded coronavirus.
The lawmakers made the resolution on Tuesday while adopting a motion of urgent national importance by Onofiok Luke(Akwa-Ibom, PDP).
They also resolved that only Nigerian citizens who will be tested on arrival should be allowed in and may be quarantined if necessary.
The federal government had announced that Nigeria had no plans on restricting any country’s nationals from entering the country.
The minister of state for health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, said instead, the country would be intensifying screening on passengers from eight countries – China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Germany, Japan, France, and Spain.
Mr Mamora, while giving the national update on the status of the disease in the country, said these eight countries have been highlighted as countries with high risk of widespread community transmission and screening would be intensified on passengers from these countries.
The U.S. and U.K., despite having high ongoing transmission and cases, are not part of the countries earmarked for intensive passengers screening.
The U.S. ranks eighth on the table of countries with the highest number of confirmed cases with 3,802 confirmed cases while the U.K. ranks 10th with 1,391 confirmed cases following Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Japan which is on the list for intensive passengers screening to Nigeria ranks 17th with 840 confirmed cases.
Nigeria is one of the six African countries that have reported at least a case of Coronavirus on the continent.
Nigeria recorded its first case of Coronavirus on February 27, in an Italian businessman who had flown into the country for business.
He had spent two days within the country and visited Lagos and Ogun state before he fell ill and was diagnosed with Covid-19.
Mr Onofiok’s motion was on the need for the federal government to postpone the national sports festival in Edo State and other large gatherings.
President Muhammadu Buhari coincidentally approved the postponement of the sports festival while the house was adopting the motion.
The Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, announced this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting with Buhari.
He said the postponement was due to the Coronavirus pandemic, adding the decision was arrived at after “close consultations with the Ministry of Health.
Part of the prayers in the motion was to urge the federal government, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, in line with global best practice, to immediately postpone the National Sports Festival scheduled for Edo State and other activities with a large gathering in the interest of the nation’s health and wellbeing, till further notice.
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