Lockdown: Don’t lift ban on public gathering, NMA tells state governments

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), on Friday called on state governments to rescind their decision of lifting the ban on gathering in public places.

In a statement signed by the NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, the association expressed concern over the decision of some state governors to jettison the social distancing order, being the established measure in preventing the spread of coronavirus disease in the country. 

“The  attention of the Nigerian Medical Association has been drawn to some isolated statements negating the established measure of preventing Covid-19- social distancing, and orders by some state governors authorising the mass observance of Jumat prayers and Easter Sunday services.

“Of particular concern are, the declaration by the Cross River state Governor that social distancing is not needed while wearing a face mask.

“A moratorium on the lockdown to allow mass gathering in mosques and churches starting from Friday to Sunday in Rivers state.

“The lifting of the ban on Friday prayers by Katsina and Kogi States government.

“We are aware that similar orders have also been given in Ondo, Ebonyi and Imo states which have approved mass  attendance of Easter services.

“While appreciating the prime place of religion in our national lives and especially the value Christians place on Easter, we place on record that there is now the evidence of community transmission of Covid-19.”

He stressed that relaxing any guideline that promotes mass gatherings in any part of the nation now can only heighten and not flatten the curve of transmission dynamics.

“We therefore pray all authorities concerned to rescind their decision in the interest of safety of lives and implore the Nigerian Police force and other security agencies ensure that such gatherings do not take place,” he stated.

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