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COVID-19: Coalition wants FG to make mask wearing compulsory

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Pedestrians wearing face masks make their way along a street in Bangkok on January 30, 2019. – Toxic smog forced hundreds of Bangkok schools to close on January 30, as authorities struggle to manage a pollution crisis that has stirred widespread health fears and taken on a political edge just weeks before elections. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Sen. Eze Ajoku, President, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), on Tuesday called on Minister of Health to make masks wearing compulsory for all Nigerians to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Ajoku, who is also Managing Director, Darlez Nig Ltd that manages, FMC, Jabi laboratory, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja that the minister would achieve it by collaborating with Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

He explained that radio and television stations would be directed to intensify campaigns and awareness aimed at encouraging the wearing of masks, especially in rural areas.

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“Please, mandate the wearing of masks, any type of mask will help in our rural areas.

“Ask all radio and television stations as part of their social responsibilities to encourage the wearing of masks.

‘This is how the Czech Republic that has one of the lowest infection rates and later China controlled the spread,” Ajoku said.

The Senator, who reiterated the imperatives of mass media awareness in the use of masks, said it was in addition to social distancing, hand washing and use of sanitisers.

He said: “Encourage tailors, individuals, and organisations to make masks. Masks will be needed in millions for everyone.”

“Aba tailors can mass-produce masks. Any type of mask will stop the person to person transmission. I see it as an important means of controlling this spread in our densely populated areas.

He explained: “the mask protects you from me and protects me from you, so we are both safe.

“There will be no heavy or light droplets on surfaces or floating around from each of us.”

According to him, this made common sense since, with a mask, there would be no desire to regularly touch the mouth or nose.

Ajoku also urged the federal government to enforce strict adherence to the rule by mandating police to arrest anyone on the street without a mask since such people will interact with others as they walk or move around.

He, however, called on older people to adopt precautionary measures prescribed by International Organisations and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The coalition boss advised his older colleagues to always wear face masks when in the company of younger ones who have higher immunity to withstand the virus.

Ajoku, therefore, urged older people to always wash their hands, use sanitiser and observe social distancing with their children and grandchildren at this time.

He also advised older persons to drink hot tea or water including ordinary water regularly to ensure their throats were not dry.

Ajoku insisted that older persons should stay at home and receive no visitors at this time, and said he was leading by example.


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