The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Oyo State branch, has urged the EndSARS protesters to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols to avoid a second wave of the pandemic.
The state’s Chairman of the association, Dr Ayotunde Fasunla, made the call in Ibadan on Monday, on the sideline of a news conference to mark the 2020 Physician Week.
Fasunla said that the association, which had always wanted the country to progress and develop in all areas, would not want a resurgence of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He, therefore, urged the EndSARS protesters to conduct themselves in a way that would not jeopardise their health, especially the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
He added that “NMA embraces and supports good governance that will provide security for all citizens. Every Nigerian has the right to life.
“While NMA understands that every citizen has a right to gathering and protesting, it is important that safety protocols against COVID-19, such as wearing of face mask, face shields, use of hand sanitizers and so on, should be employed and adhered to.”
Fasunla noted that some countries had started experiencing a second wave of the pandemic, while some had already commenced a second lockdown.
“There is no evidence that Nigeria or Oyo State is immune to this.
“We should not be oblivious of the fact that close contact has been proven to be a factor that can escalate the spread of COVID-19, and rallies are potential avenues for this.
“Necessary measures are, therefore, to be taken to prevent the second wave of infections, which could be more devastating.
“NMA implores people that feel sick or unwell to stay away from protest grounds.”
The chairman also added that “at this juncture, NMA calls on well-meaning Nigerians to use everything possible within their power to bring the youths and the government to the negotiation table, so that this protest will not be unduly prolonged; the consequence of which may be more than imagined.”