The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has expressed dismay over the relaxation of measures put in place to reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak in some states of the Federation.
This is contained in a statement signed by the NMA President and Secretary General, Dr Francis Faduyile, and Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote, respectively, on Friday, April 10, 2020 in Abuja.
Some state governors had relaxed the lockdown orders and authorised observance of Jumat prayers and Easter Sunday services.
The NMA expressed shock over the comments attributed to the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, that social distancing was not needed while wearing a face mask.
The group called on the state governments concerned to rescind their decision in the interest of safety of lives.
It also appealed to the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies to ensure that such gatherings did not take place.
“The attention of the NMA has been drawn to some isolated statements negating the established measure of preventing Covid-19 – social distancing.
“Of particular concern are the moratorium on the lockdown to allow mass gathering in mosques and churches starting from Friday to Sunday in Rivers State and the lifting of the ban on Friday prayers by Katsina and Kogi State Governments.
“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.
“As such, relaxing any guideline that promotes mass gatherings in any part of the country at this time can only heighten and not flatten the curve of transmission dynamics,” the statement read in part.
By Abujah Racheal