Coronavirus: Senate asks FG to isolate travellers from China, Asian countries for 14 days


The Senate, on Thursday, asked Chinese citizens from Nigeria that travelled for the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities to embark on self-isolation when they return.

The lawmakers said by staying indoors in their homes for at least two weeks, they would not be able to mix with the Nigerian public.

The senators also urged the Federal Ministry of Aviation to immediately take steps to ensure that all persons arriving from China, are subjected to proper scrutiny.

The Upper Chamber also extended the call for self-isolation to travellers from other countries that are on record to be affected by the outbreak of the deadly disease.

The Senate, accordingly, advised the Nigerian public desirous of travelling to Asia to put all arrangements on hold until the Coronavirus outbreak is eliminated.

These formed part of resolutions reached after the consideration of a motion titled: “Coronavirus Outbreak and Preventive Response Towards Stemming it’s Spread in Nigeria.”

Senator Chukwuka Utazi, who sponsored the motion, explained that the virus usually spread through the air by coughing or sneezing.

He also said close personal contact, touching a contaminated object or surface, and rarely by fecal contamination.

He said, “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 weeklong Lunar New Year which begins on Saturday.”

Senator Jibrin Barau, in his contribution, described the motion as a wake-up call for health officials across the country to deploy early preventive measures.

“I was thinking whether our health officials are doing everything possible to prevent the coming of this disease into the country.

“This motion is a wake-up call to our health officials to deploy preventive measures.


“We should find a way to send a message through this motion to make sure the proper thing is done to safeguard the health of citizens and the nation,” the lawmaker advised.

Senator James Manager said, according to records, China is the biggest and most populated country in the world.

The lawmaker raised the alarm that Nigeria and other countries are at risk of experiencing an outbreak given what he described as the uncontrolled influx of Chinese nationals from one country to another.

Manager, who likened the Coronavirus to the deadly Ebola virus, urged Nigerian authorities to rise to the occasion, warning that “almost all-powerful countries in the world are already affected.”

The Senate in its resolutions, accordingly, urged Nigerians with any reported cases of likely infection or with symptoms approximate to those associated with Coronavirus to visit hospitals for an urgent health check.

The upper chamber while also calling on the Federal Government to allocate more funds to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control advised Nigerians to maintain good personal hygiene by constantly washing their hands with water and soap or through the use of liquid sanitizers.

They advised Nigerians to wash their two hands with soap preferably from a running tap.


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