Urges FG to increase awareness on disease
By Chioma Obinna
As COVID-19 confirmed cases continue to soar, health professionals have decried noncompliance with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, relaxation guidelines, expressing fears that the development may further worsen the spread of the infection across the country.
In a separate interview with Newzandar News, the experts described activities in the states as disastrous.
In his submission, a Molecular Laboratory expert, Dr Casmier Ifeanyi, lamented that Nigerians have thrown caution to the wind with the turnout of people in the streets, plazas, and banking halls with no regard or respect for NCDC guidelines.
Recalling that members of PTF had lamented the disregard for the guidelines, he expressed worry that despite the contagious nature of the disease, Nigerians still packed themselves in buses without any form of protection.
“In Lagos and Abuja, people packed together in banking halls, in markets, commercial vehicles even in FCT, buses still carry two passengers in the front seat and fully loaded with three or four passengers in the back and that is why this is really worrisome because it is a respiratory disease.”
Casmier who is also the Publicity Secretary of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, blamed some of the challenges to the government’s inability to provide enabling environment for compliance.
He added that with the infrastructural deficit in Nigeria, it would be difficult to get maximum compliance with the guidelines.
He further alerted that frontline health workers were greatly worried that by the end of this month, (May), there might be an exponential rise in the reported cases of COVID19 as no one can quantify the level of transmission that was currently going on due to the level of recklessness in the last one week.
Stating that there was no need for a second lockdown, Casmier said: “We would want more of public education and enlightenment; we would want a change of strategies. The economic impact of the lockdown will be much on the country. We will not advocate a second lockdown.”
On his part, the Lagos State Chairman, of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Saliu Oseni who rated compliance to the use of face mask at 40 per cent and social distancing zero said the government could have done better by keeping the citizens in the house a bit longer with proper distribution of palliatives.
Oseni said Government needs to provide hand sanitizers to commercial buses in order to sanitize the hands of commuters when entering their buses.
“We have lost the opportunity of the first lockdown by terminating it prematurely, therefore a repeat is like starting all over and if we are doing that government must be ready with adequate palliative that will keep people at home.”
He urged the Federal Government to launch a campaign that would educate Nigerians on the need to comply with NCDC guidelines.
Speaking to Newzandar News, the National President, Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, HCPAN, Dr. Jimmy Arigbabuwo expressed concern that with the stampede at banks and markets there is heightened fear of explosion of infection in the coming weeks.
Arigbabuwo urged the federal government to adopt the Senegalese option by using test kits to increase testing in the country.
“At least we get results similar to spot tests of HIV those days that may later be subject to confirmation having gotten a pointer of suspicion.”
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