Dr Bukola Saraki, Nigerian former Senate President, on Friday called on the Federal Government to put in place a and operate high level screening equipment at all entry points of the nation to curtail the impending spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 virus in the country.
Nigeria, the world most populous black nation, confirmed its first case on Friday morning after an Italian citizen who returned from Milan, Italy on the 25th of February 2020 was quarantined and tested positive to the novel COVID-19 virus.
Saraki, the immediate past Senate President said in statement on Friday, that the first confirmed case must be seen as an opportunity for Nigerians to unite behind a common objective of overcoming the threat to the wellbeing of all.
He further expressed that relevant government agencies should step up their awareness campaign by issuing relevant and timely information about the disease and steps that can be taken to prevent further spread.
“The occurrence of Nigeria’s first case of COVID-19 must be seen for what it is – an opportunity to unite behind a common objective to overcome a threat to the health and wellbeing of our beloved country and her people.
“I appeal to the Federal Government to install and operate top of the line screening equipment at our airports, seaports and land borders while implementing a policy of stronger screening for people arriving our shores from countries with a high prevalence of the virus.
“I appeal to Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to step up their awareness campaign by transmitting information about the disease and the steps that can be taken to prevent it in as many Nigerian languages as possible,” he said.
The former Senate President appealed to Nigerian not to panic and avoid the spread of fake information about the virus.
“It is also necessary to appeal to the Federal Ministry of Health to update Nigerians daily on events to help curb the spread of fake news and misinformation about the virus. I appeal to media houses to support this awareness campaign as much as possible.
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“Finally, I appeal to Nigerians not to panic and to avoid spreading sensational or false information about the virus.
“I have always believed that Nigeria and Nigerians can overcome any challenge before us when we unite behind a common purpose. I believe we can do so now,” he asked.