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Senate tasks aviation ministry on surveillance over Coronavirus outbreak


• Group asks Igbo traders to shun China, Asian countries
• One Lassa fever confirmed of five suspected cases in Nasarawa

The Senate yesterday charged the Federal Ministry of Aviation on the need for proper surveillance of all persons arriving from China, especially Chinese citizens from Nigeria who traveled for the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities against Coronavirus.

It also charged the ministry to extend such surveillance to all arrivals from any country that has a major disease outbreak to ensure that they are isolated by staying indoors for at least two weeks before mixing up with the Nigerian public.

This followed a motion on Coronavirus outbreak and preventive response towards stemming its spread in the country sponsored by Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North Senatorial District).

The Senate also urged Nigerians with any reported cause(s) of likely infection or symptoms that approximate to those associated with Coronavirus to visit the hospitals for urgent health check.

It advised Nigerians to wash their two hands with soap, clean water, preferably from a running tap at all times.

Senate also urged Nigerian traveling public desirous of traveling to Asia, especially China, to heed Federal Government’s travel advisory on China and postpone their travel arrangements until the Coronavirus outbreak ends.

The senators challenged the Federal Government to allocate more funds to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to acquire new equipment for research and diagnosis of tropical diseases that threaten human existence.

Besides, the Amalgamated Traders Association (SEAMATA) urged Igbo traders to shelve their business trips to China and other Asian countries following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

In a statement in Enugu, President General of SEAMATA, Chief Gozie Akudolu and Secretary, Alex Okwudili, asked their members to postpone every business in the Coronavirus-ravaged countries until the epidemic was contained.

“SEAMATA wishes to inform all our members and all traders across the country to be on the red alert over the Coronavirus epidemic in China and other Asian and Far East countries, which remain the business destinations of our members,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ahmed Babayaha has disclosed that five cases of Lassa fever have been reported and one confirmed, saying the victims were receiving treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja.

Ahmed, who stated this while addressing journalists at his office on Jos Road, Lafia, explained that the first case was established at Karu Council Area where an eight-year old child was reported to have the symptoms of the disease.

“We deployed our medical team who took the blood sample and forwarded it to the National Hospital Abuja and was later confirmed positive,” Ahmed said.

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