As the effect of Covid 19 bites harder, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sadie Tunis has called on both the Regional and National Legislatures to propose ways of cushioning its effects on the people.
He stated this at the closing of the 2nd Extra Ordinary Session of the Fifth Legislature held virtually.
The Speaker said the downward trend in economic activities which is occasioned by the Corona Virus Pandemic, has further worsen the rate of poverty faced by the people in the region.
He therefore stressed the need for the legislators in the region to collaborate with their various governments to ease its effects.
“The world, especially our sub-region, is under the threat of
hunger. Even though we are in the rainy season, restrictions occasioned by
the pandemic have made farming activities difficult. As Parliamentarians,
we must fashion out a way of proposing cushioning effects. There is no
doubt that the remaining part of 2020 and early 2021 would be highly
challenging, both economically and socially. Ours is to collaborate with our
Governments, both at national and regional levels, to ensure that we
protect the interest of our people and work towards easing their effects
during this anticipated difficult period.”
Tunis also called the attention of government in the region to improve access to health care for those who are suffering from other ailments apart from Covid 19, to reduce the rate of mortality.
” Admittedly, Covid 19 is highly contagious and everybody wants to
do all within his/her power to avoid being infected. But we are aware
that several patients with other ailments are being turned back, especially
where symptoms are similar to that of the corona virus. Patients on the
other hand, have resulted to self-medication due to the general reluctance
to visit hospitals and consult medical personnel, again for fear of getting
infected. I am afraid that at the end of the pandemic, we may be faced
with two sets of fatalities; those whose deaths are a result of the virus and
those who, for fear of the virus, succumb to other ailments.”
The Speaker equally appealed to Governments, donor organisations
and wealthy individuals to assist in the provision of Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE) to health workers to enable them discharge their duties efficiently.
While expressing optimism that solutions to controlling the pandemic would soon be evolved, Tunis gave an assurance that the Parliament would device their own internal protective mechanism, in addition to the existing health protocol, should the situation permits them to resume their activities.