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COVID-19: Suspending plenary could cause panic among Nigerians, NCDC reacts to lawmakers’ two weeks break

THE Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),  Chikwe Ihekweazu has condemned the two weeks suspension of plenary by the Nigerian House of representatives noting that such suspension could cause panic in the country.

The ICIR had reported that members of House Representatives on Tuesday agreed to suspend plenary for two weeks to access the level of the nation’s preparedness to curtail the spread of COVID-19 otherwise known as Coronavirus.

“I have all the respect for the honorable members, they represent Nigerians, they express the anxieties of Nigerians across the country but I think the time has not come,” said Ihekweazu who has been on self-isolation since his return from China.

Ihekweazu, while speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday morning noted that the action was capable of creating an atmosphere of panic in the nation.

While acknowledging the anxieties the lawmakers might be having concerning the virus, the NCDC boss remarked that the time was not ripe for such anxieties.

He added that such action was disproportionate, stressing that rather than shutting down, the members should give their support to the efforts of the Commission.

Speaking on what such action could cause, Ihekweazu said “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 honorable 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,” he noted.

He also charged the members of the House to give faith to the Nigerians by showing their confidence in the agencies in charge of curbing the spread of the deadly disease.

“Ask us for advice so that we can advise you on what to do, Ihekweazu said.

“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 added.

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