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COVID-19: Nigerian Medical Association says decision to ease lockdown “premature”

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The Nigerian Medical Association has kicked against the Federal Government’s decision to ease lockdown in Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory effective May 4, is premature.

In a statement signed by the NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile, in Abuja on Friday night, the association said the timing for FG’s decision was not right because the nation was still battling with inadequate Personal Protective Equipment for health workers, lack of enough bed spaces in states for infected people and rising infections across the country, amongst others.

The statement read in part, “As the incidence of the COVID-19 hits the 2000th mark by this weekend, just seven days after hitting the 1000th mark, it figuratively tilts the epidemiological curve towards an upward spike.

“More so, the revelation by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control that the nation lacks bed spaces in Lagos worsens this frightening scenario.

“The easing of the lockdown even in phases is very premature. Nigeria should learn from her neighbour, Ghana, where the same action produced 100 percent increase in infection rate in just a week.

“Instead, the association believes that agencies of state should intensify efforts through mass enlightenment campaigns beyond current attempts to explain the dangers inherent in easing the lockdown prematurely in the face of rising infection rates; and also for the palliatives to reach the needy.

“With 113 healthcare workers in Nigeria reportedly infected with COVID-19 in the course of discharging their duties, NMA reminds all doctors and healthcare workers not to let down their guards in adhering strictly to infection prevention and control protocols.”

President Muhammadu Buhari in a state broadcast on Monday, had announced the phased and gradual easing of the about five-week lockdown in the three places.

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