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With 48 hours to the Valentine’s Day celebration, the Nigeria Medical Association has urged the Enugu State Government to ensure strict enforcement of the COVID-19 protocols.
The Association said the alarm became necessary in view of influx of people into the State ahead of February 14.
In a statement on Friday, signed by the Chairman, Rtn. Dr. J.O.T. Onyia and the Secretary, Dr. Aloy Ugwuoke, they advised that all forms of carnivals should be cancelled by the State Government.
The statement read: ‘The NMA Enugu State leadership under Rtn Dr J.O.T. Onyia is alarmed over the rising cases of COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 related deaths in the Enugu State since the second wave of this dire global pandemic began.’
‘Owing to this worrisome developments, NMA Enugu calls on the Enugu State Government ably led by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to step up the immediate enforcement of strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the forthcoming Valinetine’s Day Celebration of 14th February, 2021, which is already revving up, so as to guard against the inevitable explosion of cases of COVID-19 infections and COVID-19 related deaths in the State in the aftermath of this celebration.’
‘Enugu State will most likely experience a massive influx of Valentine celebrants this weekend from other states, with a consequential projected massive spread of COVID-19, if the Presidential orders and NCDC guidelines are not observed. Many hotels will be fully booked by weekend, and most entertainment spots and other places of outing like shopping malls, night clubs, etc should be expecting large crowds that’ll no doubt breach the COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols.’
‘We are constrained to make this clarion call which is borne out of our acute awareness that the health facilities and personnels in Enugu state are near overwhelmed by the increased incidence in symptomatic COVID-19 related cases and deaths, with a good chunk of the health workers and their relatives in Enugu State now down with COVID-19 infection contracted inadvertently while attending to the COVID 19 cases that abound now in the State.’
‘As a state, we cannot afford to encourage circumstances and events geared towards circumventing COVID-19 IPC protocols as approved by the Federal Government, especially in the face of the fast spreading community acquired COVID-19 infections caused by the emergent, more virulent strain of COVID-19 virus.’
‘The NMA Enugu State advises the Enugu State Government to immediately cancel all cannivals and mass gatherings during this upcoming VALANTINE’S day celebration in other to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 infections. Beyond this imminent challenge bordering on Valentine’s day celebration, we strongly recommend the enforcement of appropriate restrictions regarding indiscriminate social gatherings at this time.’
‘The Nigerian Medical Association Enugu state branch remains ready to work with the state government towards instituting a robust COVID-19 committee and a COVID-19 response team in conjunction with the other allied health professionals, that will formulate local policies which will help to combat the truly disconcerting spread of COVID-19 infection and the attendant morbidities and mortalities in our dear state.’
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