By Dennis Agbo
The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, in Enugu state has warmed that the state will likely experience an upsurge in infection of Coronavius during the 2021 Valentine day celebration in the state.
It, therefore, asked the state government to nip it on the bud and take measures to forestall further spread of the disease.
NMA Chairman in the state, Dr J.O.T. Onyia in a statement on Saturday said that the doctors were worried and
alarmed over the rising cases of COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 related deaths in the Enugu State since the second wave of this dire global pandemic began.
Owing to the worrisome development, NMA Enugu called on the Enugu State Government to step up the immediate enforcement of strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the Valentine’s Day Celebration of 14th February 2021.
NMA said the activity was revving up and needed to be guarded against in the inevitable explosion of cases of COVID-19 infections and COVID-19 related deaths in the State in the aftermath of the Valentine celebration.
NMA said “Enugu State will most likely experience a massive influx of Valentine celebrants this weekend from other states, with a consequential projected massive spread of COVID-19, if the Presidential orders and NCDC guidelines are not observed.
“Many hotels are fully booked, and most entertainment spots and other places of outing like shopping malls, night clubs, etc should be expecting large crowds that’ll no doubt breach the COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols.
“We are constrained to make this clarion call which is borne out of our acute awareness that the health facilities and personnel in Enugu state are nearly overwhelmed by the increased incidence in symptomatic COVID-19 related cases and deaths, with a significant number of the health workers and their relatives in Enugu State now down with COVID-19 infection contracted inadvertently while attending to the COVID 19 cases that abound now in the State.
“As a state, we cannot afford to encourage circumstances and events geared towards circumventing COVID-19 IPC protocols as approved by the Federal Government, especially in the face of the fast-spreading community-acquired COVID-19 infections caused by the emergent, more virulent strain of COVID-19 virus.
“The NMA Enugu State advises the Enugu State Government to immediately cancel all cannibals and mass gatherings during this upcoming VALENTINE’S day celebration in other to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 infections. Beyond this imminent challenge bordering on Valentine’s day celebration, we strongly recommend the enforcement of appropriate restrictions regarding indiscriminate social gatherings at this time.
“The Nigerian Medical Association Enugu state branch remains ready to work with the state government towards instituting a robust COVID-19 committee and a COVID-19 response team in conjunction with the other allied health professionals, that will formulate local policies which will help to combat the truly disconcerting spread of COVID-19 infection and the attendant morbidities and mortalities in our dear state,” Onyia and the Secretary, Dr Alloy Ugwoke said in the statement.