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Coronavirus: Suspend All Flights From China, Italy, Atiku Tells Buhari

Atiku Abubakar, former vice president, has urged President Muhammdu Buhari to suspend all flights coming to Nigeria from China and Italy, to prevent more cases of coronavirus infection in the country.

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An Italian man, who recently returned to Lagos after visiting Italy, was confirmed as the first case of the disease in Nigeria on Friday.

Apart from China, Italy and Iran have become hotbeds for the spread of the disease, due to the rate of infections and deaths in the countries.

Atiku, in a statement, also called on the government to defeat Coronavirus with the same zeal the nation fought Ebola outbreak in 2014.

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According to him, the Buhari-led government “must call upon our experience with the Wild Ebola Virus, of which we were the first nation in the world to defeat that scourge in 2014. How did Nigeria do it? We achieved it by showing unprecedented unity

“The federal government of the day worked closely with the Lagos and Rivers state governments. There was complete unity, solidarity and oneness of purpose, which created the atmosphere that defeated that deadly infestation. I strongly counsel that any tendency to blame and point fighters must be temporarily, if not permanently, suspended. If fingers must be pointed, it must be to solutions.

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“Nigeria needs firm and decisive actions to prevent an escalation of the scourge. Recently, we closed our borders as an act against economic sabotage. Perhaps now is the time to temporarily halt flights to and from any nation with a prevalence of this scourge. It is more important to secure human lives than to secure an economy. We also need to invest in early detection facilities at our airports.”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 election, however, said Nigeria must not panic, whether at government or individual levels, noting that the nation defeated Ebola, and can overcome the present challenge.

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“This crisis is an opportunity to show that we are first and foremost Nigerians and that we have no other country but our dear fatherland, which we must work together to keep healthy and secure,” he added.

About Oluwafemi Ashaolu

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