TRACKING____The House of Representatives o Tuesday asked the Federal Government to put in place emergency measures to protect Nigerians and the economy from the potential dire consequences of the widespread outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic among the people.
The House resolved to direct the Federal Ministry of Education to make available hostels in the now-vacated Federal Government Colleges across the country. The colleges are to be used use as emergency care centres and isolation units by the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) if it becomes necessary to do so to manage high numbers of people requiring treatment from the Covid 19 disease.
Adopting a motion of urgent public importance, the House asked the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to immediately develop contingency plans for the establishment of emergency care facilities at the Federal Government Colleges.
The House said that these contingency plans should include cost estimates for the provision of equipment, material, medicines and other such requirements as may become necessary.
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It also want the Federal Ministry of Health, to work with the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) and other such stakeholders to develop plans for the deployment of a corps of doctors and medical professionals to these emergency care centres as the need arises.
In addition, the House is asking the Central Bank of Nigeria as part of its Policy Measures in response to Covid – 19 to act urgently to fully fund the establishment and operations of these emergency health centres across the country, while asking the Governor and senior management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to brief the leadership of the House on the details of the Central Bank’s Policy Measures in Response to the Covid – 19 Outbreak including the procedure and requirements for the disbursement of earmarked intervention funds under the emergency policy measure.
While commending the Federal Government for efforts so far to prevent the occurrence of Covid – 19 pandemic in the country, it further ask the President to exercise his authority under the Customs, Excise Tariffs, Etc. (Consolidation) Act to remove any import or excise duty on essential medical equipment as determined by the Minister of Health to be necessary for the management of Covid – 19 diseases in the country.
Gbajabiamia who yeilded his position as Presiding Officer to his deputy to enable him personally present the motion informed the House the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus has emerged as the most significant threat to the physical, mental and economic wellbeing of the people and nations of the world.
The Speaker said that the alarming levels of spread and severity of the disease caused the World Health Organisation (WHO) to rightly classify the outbreak of Covid 19 as a pandemic, as the spread of the disease has now reached every corner of the world with three hundred and forty-one thousand (341,000) recorded infections and fourteen thousand, seven hundred (14,700) deaths globally.
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