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COVID-19: Isolation wards are filling up again, NMA warns

 

Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State branch, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan, says COVID-19 isolation wards are getting filled again, lamenting that people have forgotten the impact of the virus.

Adenekan expressed concern over a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, blaming it on total disregard for non-pharmaceutical preventive protocols.

The physician disclosed this to PUNCH HealthWise, warning that if the trend continues, isolation centres that had been shut down might be reopened.

“We are beginning to see increasing COVID-19 cases in our wards, compared to what we had a month ago.

efore, we had about one or two cases but now, the wards are getting filled. That is to say, there are more cases and it means that we are going to have a spillover to isolation centres that were closed initially. Very soon, we are going to open them.

“For me, people should live and live right. People should not forget that COVID-19 guidelines are still in force and should observe them. Otherwise, we will get to a level of lockdown. So, to mitigate the effect of COVID-19, we must take individual precaution,” Adenekan said.

He urged communities, state and the Federal Government to take precautions.

“Washing of hands and wearing of face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not difficult things to do,” he said.

To avert the second wave of COVID-19, Dr. Adenekan noted, “We need to follow the protocol of COVID-19 guidelines.

“Government should enforce the guidelines. The enforcement is not there. People have let down their guard. We really have to emphasise that COVID-19 is still very much around with us and the dreaded second wave, it looks like we are beginning to get there.

“I hope that we don’t get there fully. A lot of people have forgotten how it was when we went on lockdown.”

Adenekan also urged the Federal Government to begin awareness campaign on the COVID-19 vaccine in order to address myths and fears that people might have about it before it arrives in Nigeria.

The NMA chairman also wants the government to start with health workers first when the vaccine is procured next year, stressing that they are three times more at risk of COVID-19 than other populations.

According to reports, COVID-19 vaccine offers up to 95 percent protection against the virus and is deemed safe by Food and Drug Administration.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says Nigeria expects to license by April one of COVID-19 vaccines under development globally.

He said, “There are lots of myths about vaccines. So, the government needs to start creating awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine now before it arrives Nigeria.

“Again, when it gets here, health workers and frontliners should get the vaccine first, and it must be free because these are the people rendering healthcare services to the populace.

“Health workers have three times risk of contracting COVID-19 as we have already witnessed.”

He urged Nigeria to seek assistance from international donors to enable the country to procure the vaccine, adding, “We don’t know how much it will cost.”

PUNCH

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