Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Fred Ezeh and Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, assured that it had the requisite equipment and capacity to test for coronavirus and prevent the spread of the deadly disease in the country.
Spokesperson of Federal Ministry of Health, Enefaa Bob-Manuel, in a statement said the in-country capacity was made possible through the help of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as part of efforts to prepare the country to swiftly respond to the coronavirus if it finds its way into Nigeria.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, thanked WHO for the support and confessed that the intervention will go a long way in getting Nigeria ready to respond to any eventuality regarding coronavirus or other related epidemics.
This comes even as the Federal Government has advised intending travellers from Nigeria to China to halt their visits pending the effective containment of the coronavirus that has ravaged the country.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, assured of the government’s commitment to the safety and security of Nigerians living in China.
Nwoye called on Nigerians living in Wuhan, to keep indoors while the epidemic lasts.
“The Federal Government in collaboration with the Embassy of Nigeria in People’s Republic of China is committed in ensuring the safety of Nigerians living in China, following the outbreak of the coronavirus. The ministry calls on the Nigerian community to be more vigilant and abide by all public health announcements and instructions issued from time to time by various Chinese authorities to prevent themselves from the current scourge.
“Specifically, Nigerians in Wuhan are strongly advised to keep indoors while restricting their movements and to take all necessary precautions and strictly adhere to all medical precautions and instructions issued by Wuhan,” Nwoye said. He stated further that the government would continue to closely monitor the situation and keep Nigerians updated as necessary. Nwonye urged Nigerians to maintain regular contact with the Embassy and to appraise the Embassy of any developments as they unfold.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured President Xi Jinping and citizens of the People’s Republic of China that Nigeria is with them as they battle to stemn the scourge of the coronavirus.
Spokesman for the President,Garba Shehu,in a statement, yesterday, quoted Buhari as describing China’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus as exemplary, as well as its collaboration with international agencies and other countries on the matter.
President Buhari noted that China had been supportive of Nigeria and Africa and assured that Nigeria and her citizens are also standing by them in their time of difficulties.
“With all the efforts being put in, we know that it is only a matter of time before this nightmare passes,” Buhari said.
The President also thanked Nigerians, “for their hospitality towards the Chinese nationals, in our midst, and for not letting the coronavirus outbreak create any disturbance or disrupt the peaceful coexistence between us and them.” He prayed that God would comfort the Chinese and others who have already lost family members and loved ones to the disease.