Coronavirus: House Urges FG to Halt Flights from UK, Italy, China, US, Others

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By Udora Orizu

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government and the Ministry of Aviation to immediately halt all flights from coronavirus high-risk countries especially the United Kingdom, Italy, United States of America, China and South Korea except for Nigerian citizens who will be tested on arrival and quarantined if necessary.

The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to continue to work with federal and state medical establishments to update and upgrade facilities and prepare for all eventualities.

It further urged the Federal Government and Ministry of Youth and Sports 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.

These resolutions were sequel to unanimous adoption of a motion on matter of urgent public importance titled, ‘Urgent need for the Federal Government to Postpone the National Sports Festival in Edo State and other Large Gatherings,’
sponsored by Hon. Luke Onofiok at the plenary on Tuesday.

Presenting the motion, Onofiok expressed gratitude on the fact that Nigeria has been fortunate to have only one index case that is said to be recovering.

The lawmaker while commending the efforts of Edo state government in organizing the sports festival, however said the festival would bring together thousands of young healthy Nigerians from all the states which will mingle and inter-mingle and go back to their states to further mingle with friends, family colleagues and community with the attendant implications.

He also expressed concerns on the increasing cases of the virus in countries all over the world, saying that flights from high risk countries should be halted till further notice.

He said, “The House notes the seriousness of the current global epidemic, coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has branded a Global epidemic that has so far affected almost 200,000 persons worldwide and killed over 7,000 in over 60 nations. In the United States, only the state of West Virginia is yet to report a case of Coronavirus.”

“All sporting activities in the world such as the ATP (Tennis), Judo (International Judo Federation), London Marathon, NBA, EFL, Formula 1, The US Masters, Kentucky Derby, Boxing, FA Women’s Championships, FA Women’s Super League, UEFA, LaLiga, World Cup Qualifiers, Darts, and Cricket have been cancelled or postponed due to precautions about the spread of the coronavirus, including indoor games, with schools from pre-kindergarten through universities and research centers shut down.”

“We appreciate the far-reaching efforts of governments all over the world where gatherings of more than 50 persons have been prohibited, social distancing of at least 3 feet apart is encouraged, widespread use of sanitizers recommended, and citizens encouraged to stay indoors with some cities and nations on total lockdown.”

He added that without effective social distancing and drastic steps to avoid contacts this epidemic could be easily transmitted.