The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has advised state governors against relaxing the lockdown order declared to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
In a statement on Friday, signed by its president, Dr. Francis Faduyile and Secretary-General, Olumuyiwa Odusote, respectively the NMA said its attention “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. As such, relaxing any guideline that promotes mass gatherings in any part of our 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 the safety of lives and implore the Nigerian Police force and other security agencies to ensure that such gatherings do not take place.”