The Senate has faulted the policy adopted by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which allows only private laboratories to carry out tests on intending travelers abroad.
It said the measure was detrimental to average Nigerians who are being forced to cough out N75, 000 for such test.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, stated this Tuesday at an interactive session his panel, along with the Committe on Health, had with members of the PTF and stakeholders in the Aviation and Health sectors.
The session was on safety measures put on ground in the wake of the commencement of International and domestic flights in the country.
The joint committees ordered the PTF to enlarge the scope of laboratory testing for COVID-19 by including the public laboratories and ensure reduction in the cost of testing.
“The amount is too high, it should be brought down and public health institutions’ laboratories should be equipped to carry out the tests.
“People are not finding things easy outside there as a result of the way and manner COVID-19 pandemic is being fought in the country,” Adeyemi said.
He warned against killing the nation’s economy with the adopted European style of fighting COVID -19 pandemic.
“There is something in us as Africans that is not in them in Europe and America, which made COVID-19 not to be disastrous here as it was there.
“In the light of this, measures that are detrimental to the livelihood and well-being of Nigerians should be avoided, so as not to kill the nation’s economy,” he said.
PTF National Coordinator Dr Sani Aliyu, said three reasons were responsible for the success Nigeria had recorded in the fight against the pandemic.
He listed poverty, demography and aggressive nature of African countries against the pandemic.
“Demographically, only 3% of Nigerians are above the age 65 as against 20%, 18% of such populations in European and American countries where fatalities are high.
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