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The Lagos state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has issued a sit-at-home directive to its members.
According to the guidelines issued by the presidential task force on COVID-19 and the Lagos state government, essential service providers, such as health workers, are exempted from the restriction of movement, especially during curfew hours from 8pm to 6am.
According to a statement on Wednesday, signed by Saliu Oseni, chairman Lagos NMA, the directive takes effect from 6pm today.
The association said the sit-at-home directive is to protest against the “incessant harassment” of doctors and other health workers by security agents enforcing the directive on restriction of movement in Lagos.
NMA alleged that enforcement officials ignore the exemption of health workers, and that many of its members have been subjected to harrassment and intimidation by security agents.
“The Lagos State Branch of the NMA has resolved that it is presently unsafe for members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement,” it said.
“All Medical Doctors in Lagos State are hereby advised to proceed on a sit-at-home, in their best interest, starting from 6pm today, Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 indefinitely, until otherwise advised.”
Meanwhile, in Abuja the NMA has said with effect from today, Wednesday 20th May, 2020, all medical and dental practitioners should henceforth work between the hours of 8.00am and 4.00pm, to give enough time for them to return back home.
In a statement issued by Dr. Francis A. Faduyile, “the NMA observed with dismay the pains and anguish foisted on our members returning from and going to work on Tuesday 19th May night by security operatives who arrested and detained them in the name of implementing the lockdown curfew. This to us is not in line with the directives given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and hence is unacceptable”.
The statement added, “Based on the foregoing, notice is hereby given to all Medical and Dental practitioners that since the security operatives have unilaterally withdrawn the exemption given to us by Mr. President as essential service providers as seen in some States and the FCT.
I wish to state as follows:
“That with effect from today, Wednesday 20th May, 2020, all medical and dental practitioners should henceforth work between the hours of 8.00am and 4.00pm, to give enough time for them to return back home”.
“This measure is to stop our members from working late and mitigate the embarrassment to our members in the process of carrying out their lawful duties”.
“Further update will be communicated to members when this unfortunate directive from the Inspector General of Police is reversed”.
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