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Coronavirus: ATCON makes case for telecom technical staff

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…as scientists call for a lockdown

The National Executive Council of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has requested that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) initiate the process of the national right of passage for all technical staff of telecommunications companies in the event of foreseeable lockdown by either the Federal Government or the State Government in an attempt to curb the spread of Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

In a statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the umbrella body of telecommunications companies, Mr Ajibola Olude, ATCON explains that the request is necessary because of the essential nature of telecommunications infrastructure in managing the entire situation and the need for maintenance and repairs that may arise during the possible lockdown.

Expressing confidence in the NCC to expedite action on its request, the body urged all its teeming members and their staff to comply with all the guidelines stipulated by the Federal Ministry of Health and all relevant authorities at state levels.

 Meanwhile, Nigerian scientists have admonished the Federal Government to order a lockdown of the country to check the spread of coronavirus in the country. The scientists, who spoke under the argus of the National Academy of Science, gave the advice through its president, Prof. Mosto Onuoha, in a statement.

According to Onuoha, the country should be locked down for four weeks to reduce the number of fresh cases of COVID-19 and allow for  planning to tame the scourge.

“It is now time for a national lockdown, especially now that the disease has invaded the highest level of our governance threatening our national security! While the effort of individual state governments is lauded, with a lockdown, all citizens are required (as much as possible) to stay at home leaving room only for essential activities that allow for basic functions such as feeding and accessing health care,” he said.

Following a spike in the cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, the Nigerian government recently restricted entry into the country for travellers from 15 countries including the US and UK. Thirteen countries were initially barred before the addition of Austria and Sweden two days after. 

According to the National Centre for Disease Control, the restriction will apply to travellers from countries with more than 1,000 cases. The 13 countries initially barred include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, Norway, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has also suspended the issuance of visa on arrival to travellers from these countries. All travellers returning from these countries prior to the restriction will be in supervised self-isolation, monitored by the NCDC and Port Health Services,” the NCDC added

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