- The House of Reps has dismissed reports that over 50 lawmakers tested positive to coronavirus
- Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Honourable Benjamin Kalu, in a statement said the report is false
- Honourable Kalu said the House of Representatives still works 5 days a week at the committee level
The House of Representatives has dismissed reports that over 50 lawmakers tested positive to COVID-19.
Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Honourable Benjamin Kalu, in a statement sent to journalists on Wednesday, July 8 said there was no time 50 members of the lower house tested positive to COVID-19, urging the public to disregard the news.
“Members of the National Assembly could fall prey to COVID-19, just like any other person. It is, therefore, unconscionable to attempt to weaponize this against the institution especially when the source of such strange information is a phantom,” Hon. Kalu said.
He continued: “We wish to state that there has not been any panic at the National Assembly as alleged in the publication and that to the best of our knowledge, it is absolutely untrue that 50 lawmakers tested positive to COVID-19.
“The House is certain that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force remain the most credible sources of data with regards to this pandemic and should be referred to for fact verification before misinforming the public.”
While cautioning journalists to always crosscheck their facts before going to the press, Honourable Kalu reiterated that, though the House of Representatives still works 5 days a week at the committee level, it has been sitting only once a week since the outbreak of the pandemic.
He clarified that this week's adjournment until next week was consistent with its COVID-19 safety precautions and has nothing to do with the reported high numbers of infected lawmakers.
Meanwhile, the federal government has expressed worry over the rising positive cases of the virus among people in positions of authority.
The federal government expressed its concern through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 led by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
Speaking on Monday, July 6 at a press briefing by the PTF, Mustapha described the situation as a threat to national security and governance.
One of the challenges Nigeria faces in battling the pandemic is that 80% of those who have COVID-19 in the country are asymptomatic, but can spread the disease to other people.
Another challenge is that the low levels of health literacy and exposure to scientific knowledge in Nigeria have made messaging and communication about COVID-19 harder.
Experts say the public does not, to a large extent, understand the science behind the virus’s transmission.
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