The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved that the National Assembly should suspend plenary for two weeks to enable the management to install facilities to screen and detect coronavirus.

This was sequel to the unanimous adoption of an amendment moved by the Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu.

Elumelu moved the amendment while members were debating a motion of Urgent Matters of Public Importance on tackling coronavirus by Rep. Josiah Idem (PDP-Akwa-Ibom).

Amending the motion, Elumelu said that there were no facilities to check people entering the National Assembly Complex to detect coronavirus.

He said that anybody infected could walk into the premises, shake hands with people and spread the virus.

“I urge the leadership of the National Assembly to suspend plenary for two weeks to allow management to sanitise and put facilities in place to detect the virus.

“Let the Committee on Health and other relevant committees ensure compliance,” he said.

Moving the motion earlier, Idem said that there was a need for the leadership of the assembly to constitute a committee to interface with the government to eliminate the virus.

He called for the release of more emergency funds to support the Federal Minister of Health to eliminate the novel virus.

The lawmaker stressed the need to intensify surveillance at all national borders and called for the immediate activation of centres designated for the treatment.

Idem said that risk communication should be intensified and laboratory services should be expanded recommending that two isolation centers should be cited in each geo political zones.

Rep. Inombeck-Awaji Abiante (PDP-Rivers) said that a motion to bring back Nigerians stranded in China was thrown out by the House for fear of importing the virus.

He said that though the ministry of health assured the public that the country was ready to contain the virus, it had found its way into the country.

The lawmaker said that it showed that the government was not really prepared for the virus as Nigerians were made to believe.

Rep. Nasir Alliyu (APC-Kano) said that there were only three isolation facilities so far in the country.

According to him, they are located in Abuja, Lagos and Edo and that the one in Abuja, which has a capacity of less than 30 persons, has not been completed.

The lawmaker said that with a population of about 200 million, the facilities were grossly inadequate to contain the virus

“God forbid if we have to quarantine 10,000 persons, what do we do? there is need to get really prepared,” he said.

Rep. Ibrahim Isiaka (APC-Ogun) said that the place where the infected Italian visited in Ogun was in his constituency after traveling for several kilometres from Lagos.

He said that what was most disappointing was the fact that he was not detected at the entry port.

The house, therefore, recommended that the government should convene an emergency national health conference for all health workers to come together to address the spread of the virus.

Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase (APC-Plateau) then mandated all relevant committees of the House to ensure compliance.