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COVID-19: NCDC DG slams Reps over two weeks recess



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The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has slammed the House of Representatives over plan to go on two weeks’ vacation out of fear of coronavirus infection. The DG told the federal lawmakers not to suspend House plenary and proceed on the planned recess.

Dr. Ihekweazu on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television challenged the lawmakers to support the efforts of experts by providing a budget that is sustainable in curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

He cautioned that the time hasn’t come for such action, pointing out that it will create panic among Nigerians.

The NCDC DG had declared: “I have a lot of respect for the honourable members of the House of Representatives, but I think the time now hasn’t come, if they respond in a way like that by suspending session, everyone else will ask if they should close their businesses, office or schools and it is disproportionate at this time.

“They should support the work experts are doing; give us a sustainable budget so that we can develop the expertise.”

House of Representatives members had on Tuesday, passed a resolution to suspend plenary and proceed on recess for two weeks to enable the management of the National Assembly put measures in place to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The NCDC DG insisted that it is too early for such action to be taken by an arm of government, adding that the lawmakers should show confidence in the government institutions that they have set up by providing support for the work being done.

“It’s too early to carry out a measure like that; they need to express by their actions and their words, confidence in the government institutions that they have set up and their mandate is to fund.

“I understand they are expressing the anxieties of Nigerians, but they should please support the works we are doing both in the short and long-term.”

Dr. Ihekweazu was of the view that: “Cures are found through collective scientific effort and not from my mother’s pot in the village.”

Before now, many medical experts, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), held that there is no cure for the virus. But WHO, however, acknowledged that the vaccine to cure the virus us being developed and will soon be ready.