Doctors, under the aegis of the Medical Guild, have warned against easing the lockdown, saying it will lead to more exposures and surge in COVID-19 pandemic infection.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Medical Guild comprises of doctors under the employment of Lagos State Government.
The Guild Chairman, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, in an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Lagos, said the objective of the lockdown has yet to be fully maximised.
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NAN recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 27 announced that there would be a “gradual easing” of COVID-19 lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, starting from May 4.
Buhari said that the moves were to ensure the economy function, while still maintaining the aggressive response against COVID-19.
Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, had been placed on lockdown since March 30, as containment measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Sodipo, however, called for an extension of the lockdown to allow quick maximisation of testing capacity
According to him, if the lockdown is lifted at this stage of community transmission, there will be more problematic.
He maintained that the objective of the lockdown, which was to prevent community transmission and scale-up testing capacity to break the chain of transmission, was unfortunately hindered due to challenges of testing capacity.
“Our position, as health workers, is that if we have not achieved the aim of the lockdown, there is no need to lift the lockdown prematurely.
“We are going to have a chaotic situation because we would have a lot of asymptomatic people mixing with others.
“By the time that they would be detected or start showing symptoms, the system might not be able to cope with the numbers of people that need to be admitted at the hospitals,” he said.
According to him, with testing capacity yet to be perfected, the country may have a surge of cross-infection at hospitals with various patients coming for treatment.
“The present case definition of COVID-19 does not apply again, because we are in the stage of community transmission.
“As healthcare professionals, we are concerned that there would be more exposures to COVID-19 infection because everyone is a suspect now.
“Once you have more health workers getting infected by COVID-19, you are exposing so many other people; their families and other patients they are treating,” he said.
Sodipo said that with the Lagos State Government implementing free healthcare services for the public, there would be more patients trooping to hospitals to partake in the service.
He, however, commended the government for implementing social distancing and compulsory wearing of face masks in the public.
Sodipo added that plans should also be made for increased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at various hospitals to enhance facilities with the capacity to cope with potential COVID-19 patients.
He urged governments to analyse and evolve more preventive measures and strategies that would protect citizen’s health before the lockdown was eased or lifted.