COVID-19: To Stop Spread  Is Collective Responsibility – NMA

The Chairperson of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Rivers State branch has said that stopping the spread of Covid-19 in the state should be a collective responsibility of those living and doing business in the state.

Dr. Obelebra Adebiyi while addressing newsmen at NMA Secretariat on Friday said that the state was still recording increase in cases of Covid-19 and said that the task of stopping spread of the disease should be collective responsibility.

The chairperson said: “We have in the past weeks seen several actions taken by the government in the bid to prevent an escalation of Covid-19 infections in the state, and possibly reduce mortality. In spite of these actions, the state is still recording an increase in Covid-19 cases. The direct implication of the aforementioned is that stopping the spread of Covid-19 in our state is a collective responsibility of everyone living and doing business in the state”.

She said the NMA encourages everyone living and doing business in the state to maintain “basic hygienic practices” and adhere to basic public health measures “like frequent hand washing, frequent cleaning of shelves and other surfaces with disinfectants, regular use of hand sanitizers avoiding crowded environment, maintaining physical distancing in public and private interactions as well as the regular use of face masks”.

The chairperson further said: “More important than these hygienic practices, citizens of the state who feel symptoms such as fever, cough, catarrh, difficulty in breathing, distorted sense of smell, chest pain as well as general feeling of unwell owe the general public the sacred duty of reporting to public health facilities to be reviewed and tested. Citizens with recent travel to continents with high prevalence of Covid-19 such as the USA, Europe and Asia as well as states within Nigeria should also endeavour to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days and report to the Rivers State emergency response team if they develop flu-like symptoms.

She commended the state governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for efforts made in fight against coronavirus but noted more steps were needed to be taken “especially at this stage of the fight against the pandemic”.

The NMA boss said security personnel at the state’s borders should be made to play their role and ensure people would not come into the state from its land and sea borders.

She also said government should provide personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in the state and do upward review of “abysmally poor hazard allowance paid to doctors under the state government employment”.

She also said the government should employ more doctors and other healthcare workers in the fight against coronavirus and “prevent frontline workforce fatigue and burnout” adding that healthcare workers had been exposed to the disease.

She said people should avoid discrimination of Covid-19 positive patients saying that there should be proper management of information concerning Covid-19.

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