As more Nigerians get infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has called on the federal government to issue an executive order for free and mandatory testing of all citizens, saying such action would help carriers of the virus to know on time without waiting until symptoms start manifesting.
The coalition in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to work with the National Assembly and the 36 states governors to ensure this is done within the next 48 hours.
According to CUPP, “The government should ensure a mandatory and free coronavirus testing for all Nigerian citizens especially those who recently got into the country to help ensure early detection and identification of infected people who have not shown any symptoms of the virus. This will make it easier to track all possible contacts of potential carriers.
According to the statement, “Mr. President the virus is on the move now, stop sleeping and do the job you are paid well to do. Let all hospitals be mandated to run free test and let all citizens be encouraged to go for the test.
An emergency law should be made by parliament to back free testing/funding like most nations have done and also a law making it an offense for citizens who refuse to run the test. Part of the N1trillion released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be used to fund this process.
“Remember the primary responsibility of the government under Section 14 of the constitution which is the protection of lives and property.
So get your loyalists in the National Assembly who passed your borrowing plan for $22.7billion loan without debate or seeing the details, to pass the anti-coronavirus legislation, including free and mandatory testing immediately.”