By Christiana Ekpa
As part of its efforts to forestall the outbreak of dreaded coronavirus in Nigeria, the House of Representatives yesterday asked the Federal Government to ban public gatherings; including open religious worship as done in Vatican and Saudi Arabia.
The House also directed the management of the National Assembly to immediately make arrangements to test entrants into the National Assembly, including members and staffs and ban visitors to National Assembly.
The House equally mandated the Minister of Health to address the House on weekly bases on the state of the coronavirus in the country.
The Green Chamber further urged airports management to put measures in place to reduce crowds at the airports, while officials at the borders should be put on red alert.
It also called for a national day of prayer to seek God’s intervention in the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawmakers further urged the Federal government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Singaporean Government to produce testing kits for Nigeria, while public institutions in Nigeria should be equipped with temperature gauge.
The resolutions of the House was as the results of amendments to a motion of urgent matter of Public Importance tilted “Restrictions in the wake of Coronavirus, sponsored by Zakari- Mouktar Chawai (APC, Kaduna).
Moving the motion, Chawai said there is need to enforce all measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, suggesting that sanctions should be placed on all who is found violating the processes put in place to control novel virus.
In his contribution, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said open religious gathering should be banned for now as it was done in countries like the Vatican City, Iran and Saudi Arabia to curtail the spread of the virus.
“As it was done in Vatican, as it was done in Iran and Saudi Arabia to ban or stop for now open worship – the congregation of worshippers”, he argued.
Also contributing, Herman Hembe (APGA-Benue), cautioned members who are in the habit of traveling abroad to desist from doing so, as such travels in the name of attending conferences or workshops was endangering the parliament.