Schools Resumption To Escalate COVID-19 Cases- NMA

Yemisi Izuora

The President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Innocent Ujah, on Wednesday, January 20, warned that there may be an increase in Covid infections as schools reopen amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

This was contained in a statement issued by the NMA President.

Ujah explained that there was a need for school administrators to enforce all Covid protocols outlined by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to forestall the alarming spread of the infection.

He said, “We are not saying they should not reopen schools because we don’t know how long the pandemic will last. But if we have to open schools, NYSC camps, market places, or airports, we should obey the NCDC protocols.

“Once we do that, we are likely to reduce the rate of infections and the extent to which people get infected

“We need to be prepared. But we don’t see anything on ground to suggest that schools are ready to reopen. Are they likely to have social distancing and regular handwashing as well as temperature checks.

“When we talked, the private schools said they are ready; but even if they are ready, are the public schools also ready?”

When asked if he anticipates a spike in Covid cases as schools reopened on Monday, the NMA president said, “We expect that. We expect a spike. Even the National Identity Number registration is another avenue to harvest more cases. People are falling over one another; no social distancing or use of hand sanitisers; or regular handwashing.”

He urged the National Identity Management Commission to suspend the NIN enrolment process; as the country is in an emergency but the NIN enrolment is not an emergency.

The NMA President bemoaned the laxity of Nigerians to Covid protocols in the months of September and October 2020; which caused the spike that plunged Nigeria into the second wave of the virus.

“The reality now is that we have an upsurge as this variant of COVID-19 appears to be more deadly. The infectivity rate appears to be high, so, we expect a higher number of Nigerians will be infected; and probably many more will die –unfortunately many are already dying. We are losing our colleagues –nurses, doctors. Only today, one of our colleagues died of Covid-19 in Lagos.

“So, obviously, the situation is not improving and we should not have any illusion that it will improve too soon. We should be more prepared than we were and then we have been doing. It is only then that we can be able to curb the effect of COVID-19,” he added.

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