Shutting down National Assembly on coronavirus unnecessary- NCDC

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The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has faulted the decision of the House of Representatives to suspend plenary for two weeks.

The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this while responding to a question on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored in Abuja on Wednesday.

Dr Ihekweazu said shutting down the lower chamber of the National Assembly could cause panic and send the wrong signal to Nigerians.

“I have all the respect for the honourable members. They represent Nigerians, they express the anxieties of Nigerians across the country but I think the time has not come to suspend plenary.

If they respond by suspending sessions, everyone else will begin to think ‘should I close my business?’, ‘should I close my office?’, ‘should I close my school? It is disproportionate at this time. I think what the honourable members should do is supporting the work we are doing; the technical work that the experts are doing. Give us your support; give us a sustainable budget so that we can develop the expertise,” the NCDC Boss said.

“Ask us for advice so that we can advise you on what to do. If I were asked, I would tell them that it is too early to carry out a measure like that. They need to express by their actions and words, confidence in the government institutions that they have set up and which is their mandate to fund,” he further stated.

Dr Ihekweazu, who has been in self-isolation for the last one week since returning from China, asked Nigerians to curb the spread of fake news by only sharing information from the official channels.

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He said gone are the days when cures to diseases could be found in some random village.

“Cures are found through collective scientific effort and not from my mother’s pot in the village,” he contended.

The NCDC boss said the presence of thermal scanners at the airports was not enough to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus, adding that it takes conscious effort of all stakeholders and Nigerians at large.

Signaturetv.org/punchng.com/OA

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