Thursday, May 23, 2024

COVID-19: Enugu State NMA fears possibility of exponential increase

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Enugu State expresses fear over the likelihood of the exponential increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the state and the country.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Dr Ike Okwesili and Secretary, Dr E. O. Aneke, the association noted that the country is passing through a phase of community spread with an increasing hospital transmission which it said makes the task of the Infection Curve Flattening more Herculean.

“It is therefore pertinent to point out the fact that all doctors and indeed other healthcare professionals are Frontline workers in the ongoing fight against this rampaging pandemic irrespective of nature and/or place of practice,” the NMA Enugu State said.

It expressed fear that the limited testing capacity in the state and the country would give an underestimation and false state of the disease burden in states like Enugu without testing facilities for COVID-19.

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The NMA Enugu fears that more cases are likely to present in private health facilities making community spread and hospital transmission more likely.

“The state and federal governments should commit more funds to ramping up and improving the testing capacity of the country with a target of at least one testing facility/center per a state,” it advised.

It also enjoined the Enugu State government to put in place adequate and sustained provision of Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs at all levels of healthcare facilities in the state and consider seeking legislation to ensure the enforcement of public use of face masks.

“The state should also collaborate with the various local government authorities and make the local production, procurement and provision of these items to all citizens in their various electoral wards feasible.”

The association equally encouraged the state to expand the isolation capacity in anticipation of any surge, urging hospitals that are open to services to make provisions and expand their holding bays.

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“More so, symptomatic patients are advised to put preferred hospital of presentation on notice before visit so as to ensure proper and adequate preparation and timely attendance as these would also greatly help protect the limited Frontline healthcare staff,” it cautioned.

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA Enugu State appealed to the Enugu State government to initiate and deliver its own social intervention package to deserving citizens in the state, saying that there is yet no form of relief package in the state to alleviate the hardship that may be experienced by the masses as a result of the lockdown.

The association reiterated the need to continue to observe social distancing, respiratory etiquette, proper hand hygiene and stay at home to fastrack the eradication of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two positive cases of the COVID-19 were detected in Enugu State, but the cases have since returned negative and the patients discharged.

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