The Nigerian Medical Association has warned the federal government against easing the lockdown order, stressing that doing so even in phases was very premature.
The medical body also advised government to learn from Ghana where the same action produced a 100% increase in infection rate in just a week.
A statement by the association’s National President, Dr. Francis A. Faduyile, said, in place of easing the lockdown, government agencies should in the interim intensify mass enlightenment on COVID-19 and ensure that palliatives are made available to the needy.
The association says its convictions are based on the revelation that Nigeria lacks enough bed spaces for patients coupled with the frightening scenario in Kano which remains resolved.
‘‘Beyond current attempts to explain the dangers inherent in easing the lockdown prematurely in the face of rising infection rates, the association bemoans the rather meddlesome pronouncements by some state actors on the management protocols for COVID-19 in the country.’’
‘‘In particular, we view the directive by the Bauchi State Governor on the use of a specific drug in the treatment of positive cases as improper and unethical.’’
‘‘We implore our leaders to desist from distracting our time tested doctors and health workers. Instead, they should encourage them through the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)’’
With 113 healthcare workers reportedly infected in Nigeria, the NMA warned all doctors not to let down their guards in adhering strictly to Infection Prevention and Control protocols.
It advised all health workers to endeavour to wear proper protective gears before attending to any patient as everyone is a potential COVID-19 patient at the moment.
The statement said ‘‘We wish that the “Panel of Experts” recently inaugurated by the Federal Ministry of Health is empowered to immediately commence their work of thinking, analyzing, synthesizing, collating and disseminating the most relevant medical information that informs the best management of our COVID-19 patients’’.