MEMBERS of the House of Representatives have asked the federal government to consider banning open air religious gatherings in the country after five fresh cases were discovered today.
Although largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria has had three known scares, with all of them coming from abroad. Nigeria’s first case involved an Italian gentleman, the second was an Indian, while the third was a local lady who travelled back from the UK earlier this month.
This morning, the federal government announced restrictions on visitors from 13 countries, including the UK and US, saying that arrivals from these nations must go into 14 days of isolation before being allowed to mingle with the general public. Other nations affected by the restrictions include Japan, Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Iran and South Korea.
With the virus showing no signs of abating, the Federal House of Representatives has called for more stringent action, asking the government to ban open worship and other public gatherings until further notice. In addition, the House also directed airport authorities across the country to put in place mechanisms to discourage crowd gatherings.
Also, lawmakers took a decision mandating compulsory laboratory tests on all staff and members of the National Assembly to ascertain their status. Furthermore, the House of Representatives also banned visitors from accessing the National Assembly complex while urging the government to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Singaporean government to produce testing kits for Nigeria.
It also added that all public institutions in Nigeria should be equipped with temperature gauges. Lawmakers also called for one-day national prayers and mandated the heath minister to brief the House of Representatives leadership on the situation on a weekly basis.