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Health officers say ATMs major source of Covid-19 community transmissions

The Lagos Chapter of the Environmental Health Officers Association (EHOAN) has said that the surge in number of people struggling to patronise banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) make them a source of community transmission of COVID-19.

ATM machine
The ATM machine

Mr Taiwo Awonuga, its President, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Awonuga was reacting to findings that social distancing was being jettisoned at many ATMs points.

He said that it was the obligations of banks to ensure their customers obeyed all safety guidelines.

Awonuga decried the exponential rise in the number of infected persons in the country, and tasked banks to streamline their services to be in tandem with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) social distancing recommendations.

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“The rat-race going on in many ATMs outlets is not good for the fight against communal transmission of the pandemic.

“People line up in the sun amidst sweat and droppings from their bodies.

“It calls for a change in attitude from banks and customers too, if we must halt community spread of the coronavirus, especially in the suburb where ATMs are few but attract crowds.

“The confusion at ATM points are a common sight in the country because people need money to cater for daily needs. In that zeal to get cash, they lose their guard and get infected by vectors around them,’’ he said.

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He advised people to be safety conscious in public, calling on the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on the management of the coronavirus to compel banks to open up more cash dispensing outlets to forestall people getting infected at crowded ATMs.

By Uchenna Eletuo

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