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Coronavirus: Senate seeks more funds for NCDC to tackle tropical diseases

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Coronavirus: Senate seeks more funds for NCDC to tackle tropical diseases
Worried by the outbreak of deadly coronavirus in some parts of the world, including Nigeria, the Senate has urged the federal government to allocate more funds to the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC to acquire the latest equipment for research and diagnosis of tropical diseases that threatened human existence.
The upper legislative chamber also urged Nigerian travelling public desirous of travelling to Asia, especially China to heed the 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.
These resolution were sequel to a motion, “Coronavirus Outbreak and Preventive Response Toward Stopping the Scourge in Nigeria”, sponsored by the chairman, Senate Committee on Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) during Thursday’s plenary.
It 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,” the Red Chamber stressed.
Senator Utazi, while presenting the motion through Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, said that according to medical definition, coronavirus was a type of common virus that infested humans typically leading to upper respiratory infection.
“China had put millions of people in three of its cities on lock down in an effort to contain the outbreak that has killed over 170 and infected more  than 630.
“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 explained.
Senator Utazi 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, Senator Barau Jibrin (APC Kano North) described the motion as people-oriented, adding that it 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.
Also, Senator James Manager (PDP Delta South) noted that the virus was a terrible disease, saying “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,” he added.
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