Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has expressed mixed feelings on the decision of the Federal Government to ease the lockdown declared some weeks ago, as part of measures to contain community transmission of dreaded Coronavirus.
It agreed that the relaxation will reduce the hardship being faced by Nigerians, but was concerned that the decision may bring about dramatic increase in the number of new confirmed cases.
MHWUN President, Biobelemoye Josiah, in a statement, said: “Our fear is premised on the experience of other countries where after the lockdown was relaxed, the spread of the disease was unimaginable.”
He gave thumps up to Federal Government on steps so far taken in the fight against the disease, but suggested additional stringent measures to ensure that the decision to ease the lock down does not erode the gains made during the lockdown.
He advised federal and states government to make available more testing (including rapid test kits) and isolation centres to accommodate more people in case of upsurge in number of cases.
“Government also need to provide large quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other consumables to health workers at all levels to enable them do their work professionally,” he requested.
He, however, called on the government to further demonstrate compassion, commitments and appreciation of the sacrifice of the health workers by ordering the release of all withheld salaries and entitlements of health workers.