Coronavirus: Senate knocks Health Ministry on Screening of Passengers

…insists,persons from China must be quarantine for 4 weeks

By Ignatius Okorocha

The Senate on Thursday lambasted Health Ministry officials for failing to carry out thorough screening of passengers arriving from China at the nation’s international Airport to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

This was as the upper chamber has urged Airport Authority and other relevant Agencies to quarantine any body coming from China for two or four weeks to save Nigerians from corona virus pandamic.

These resolutions of the Senate followed a point of order brought by Sen.Ajayi Boroffice(APC Ondo),under 43 of the senate rule.

Ajayi drew the attention of the Senate to the non screening of passengers coming into the country at the nation airport for corona virus.

He explained that he was subjected to screening for corona virus on arrival at the South African airport .

According to the lawmaker the screening at the South African airport had lasted for 30 mins before passengers were allowed to disembark the aircraft.

He,however, said it was surprising that on arrival back to the Nigerian airport, passengers were only issued a form to indicated if there were sick or not.

According to him there was no form of any screening of passengers for corona virus by Nigerian officials at the airport .

He said it was worrission that travelers coming into the country were not dully screened for the dreaded virus based on his experience at the airport.

The lawmaker noted that he brought his observation to the senate for the Federal Ministry of Health and other concerned agencies to take note.

President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan in his further comment thanked Sen.Boroffice for raising the issue.

He said every country in the world was making efforts to ensure that the virus did not cross their borders.

He said, although the Federal Ministry of Health and other associated agencies were doing their best, their best was not good enough.

“We must take all the necessary measures at our ports, airports, sea ports, to protect our people.

“If any body is coming from China, he or she should be quarantined not even isolation for two weeks or four weeks,we have to protect the lives of Nigerians,” he cautioned.

The senate also at plenary considered the first reading of five bills.

The bills are Pharmacy Council of Nigeria repeal and re-enactment bill 2020, by Sen.Abdullahi Yahaya, 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria Alteration bill 2020 by Sen.Ovie Omo Agege (APC Delta).among others.

It also received the report of the Committee on Niger Delta on the 2019 Budget Estimates of Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC).

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