Civil Society groups in Nigeria have expressed concerns that the country is being exposed to both visitors and returning Nigerians traveling from areas heavily exposed to the coronavirus.
According to them, the recent announcement that a third case has been diagnosed in Lagos calls for a more stringent measure in protecting our borders and managing movement in and out of Nigeria.
“We cannot and should not contemplate banning Nigerians from returning home in these difficult times, but it is obvious that it is time for drastic measures to protect our country and a fragile health system that has been neglected for too many years,” a statement by the group read.
“The Federal Government and states must recognise, like other countries that this is the most urgent of national security matters”.
They, therefore, called for some drastic steps to be taken immediately such as restricting to only essential travellers, those coming from any country overseas that has an on-going outbreak of coronavirus.
“For both Nigerians returning home and any travelers deemed essential by the Nigerian government, there must be mandatory and closely monitored self-isolation or quarantine measures for at least two weeks,” the group said.
“NCDC should immediately receive funds that will be adequate for it to radically scale activities and make a major urgent investment in testing for coronavirus.
“State governments should move immediately to provide their own technical teams with adequate resources for an effective response to a health emergency and any state that has not acted yet should be pressured to do so immediately.
“Efforts should be put in place to closely monitor our land borders and ensure basic health protocols for prevention of coronavirus spread.
“Governments at all levels (Federal, state and local) should consider immediate measures to limit public gatherings and promote safe social contacts amongst citizens.”
They also called for adequate life insurance policies to be put in place for the frontline workers of the NCDC, State and Federal ministries to forestall any unnecessary losses of life.