The Federal Government on Tuesday expressed its readiness to tackle any potential outbreak of Coronavirus.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said this during her visit to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
The minister was at the airport to inspect the arrangement and facilities put in place for the early detection of Coronavirus among in-coming passengers at the airport.
She was accompanied on the visit by the Ministers of Aviation Hadi Sirika; Minister of State for Health Olorunnimbe Mamora; and Minister of Information Lai Mohammed among other top government officials.
The World Health Organisation had placed Nigeria as a high-risk country to experience an outbreak of Coronavirus.
This is because Nigeria has strong trade links with China and about 40,000 to 50,000 Chinese work in Nigeria.
During the new year holiday, about 8,000 Chinese travelled out of Nigeria to their country to celebrate the holiday.
But Farouq said a lot of technological tools and human resources have been deployed by the relevant agencies of government at the Airport as well as the National Center for Decease Control Agency’s laboratory at Gaduwa, Abuja.
These measures, according to her, are also being constantly reinforced by other activities lined up by relevant Ministries, Agencies and Departments.
She said, “The World Health Organization has declared the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic as a Global Health Emergency due to the number of people and countries affected.
“Nigeria has responded to the pandemic challenge by mobilising all relevant government agencies to ensure our people are protected by putting in place measures for prevention of the spread of the virus, early detection and if necessary managing cases detected in the country.
“The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development’s mandate involves the protection of vulnerable citizens who are affected by disasters including biological disasters like the Coronavirus and Lassa Fever.
“To prevent outbreaks of diseases, disaster and provide succour for the vulnerable population, the ministry is tasked with coordination of responses by relevant government and non-governmental agencies in the country.
“This informed my visit today to see all the efforts that have been put in place by the relevant agencies against the Coronavirus pandemic.”
The health minister in his comments said that while there are no reported cases of Coronavirus, the health sector already has an effective coordination architecture to prepare for a potential outbreak.
He said prevention is critical to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus.
He said the Nigerian public health sector has demonstrated an effective and sustainable coordination system that is filled out on emergencies.
In his comments, Mohammed said that FG has put together an inter-ministerial committee to ensure that Nigeria is ready to tackle any potential outbreak of the disease.
He said sensitisation is being made by the ministry to enable Nigerians to understand the nature of the virus.
“We are ready for the Coronavirus, we have not recorded a confirmed case of the virus but we have the ability to handle the crisis in case it happens,” he added.