COVID-19: Declare state of emergency, lawmaker tasks Buhari

By Ignatius Okorocha

Following the frightening rise in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) victims in Nigeria, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Simon Chukwuemeka Atigwe, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, issue a proclamation of a State of Emergency on the pandemic in the country.

This is even as the lawmaker had asked the President to come up with extra budgetary proposal to National Assembly for approval to enable the Executive arm tackle the virus to halt further spread.

Atigwe said the call to the federal government has become necessary to prepare Nigerians for tougher measures to curtail the ongoing spread of the virus that is capable of creating panic among the populace, especially the illiterates.

He further explained that emergency declaration would make earlier precautionary measures to stem the infections rate like banning large gatherings of over 50 persons, sporting events and closing of schools, among others more effective.

The lawmaker, who represents Igbo-Eze North/Ndenu Federal Constituency of Enugu State explained that such action would not only help the government in halting the growing outbreak of coronavirus, but also in ensuring quick recovery of those already infected.

He specifically urged President Buhari to “immediately set up an emergency fund to help the country fight the COVID-19.”

This, he stressed would “further boost several efforts put in place to mitigate the impact of the epidemic on people’s health, their economic lives and that of the country.”

Besides, Atigwe called on the federal and state governments to provide standard equipment and facilities at the centres created to cater for coronavirus victims, adding that the call had become imperative as confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country have continue to rise almost on daily basis..

“There is need for federal government to do a little more, beyond closing of airports, schools and sporting event, among other measures. The government should make the establishment of testing centres in all local government a top priority.

“The non-availability of testing centres in the entire South East and the North before now is not good enough for the country and there is need for adequate preparation by the government in every part of the country.

“The National Assembly will be willing to approve fund for the federal government to establish the centres and their continued upgrading to the required standard,” he stressed

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