The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has urged Federal and State Governments to make wearing of facemasks compulsory by Nigerians to prevent spread of COVID-19.
This was contained in a statement by Dr Eustace Oseghale, the Public Relations Officer of the Edo branch of the association in Benin on Tuesday.
“The country is gradually returning to normal social and economic activities and most of the citizenry have let go of the protective measures against COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is saddening that buses are overloaded, facemasks are not used, while joints, bars and eateries are overcrowded.
“The disease is still with us, while we cannot remain in total lockdown because of the harmful effects on the economy, we should insist on strict compliance to protective measures.
“As we seek immunity, we must at the same time remember there are vulnerable ones among us, especially the elderly and we must protect them too,” he said.
According to him, anyone aged 60 and above needs to stay at home, because he is more at risk of severe COVID-19 illness that can lead to death.
He said that the immunity of the elderly was not as strong as it used to be decades back, explaining that a lot of elderly persons have illnesses like diabetes, chronic obstructive airway disease and many others.
“These illnesses in combination with COVID-19 are deadly.
“In recent times, many senior citizens have been lost to this pandemic, which can, however, be avoidable if we all abide strictly to the measures like the use of facemask, washing of hands with soap and applying sanitisers and the practices of social distancing,” he said.
Oseghale therefore urged government, religious institutions which were reopening to ensure that elderly persons were protected and remain indoors unless absolutely necessary.
He advised Nigerians to wear facemasks appropriately and maintain social distancing if they had to leave their homes.