The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that any premature lifting of restrictions imposed by some countries to control the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a fatal resurgence of the new coronavirus.
The warning was issued by WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, in a virtual press conference in Geneva.
“I know that some countries are already planning the transition out of stay-at-home restrictions.
“WHO wants to see restrictions lifted as much as anyone. At the same time, lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to a deadly resurgence. The way down can be as dangerous as the way up if not managed properly. WHO is working with affected countries on strategies for gradually and safely easing restrictions.”
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in a similar vein on the state governments not to place religious consideration above public health issue in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Some states had lifted restrictions to allow religious gathering, especially the celebration of Easter holiday.
In a statement signed by the President of the association, Dr Francis Faduyile, and the Secretary-General, Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote, the NMA called on states not to relax the lockdown measure yet because of Easter celebration or Jumat service.
“The attention of the Nigerian Medical Association has been drawn to some isolated statements negating the established measure of preventing COVID-19 and orders by some state governors authorising the mass observance of Jumat prayers and Easter Sunday services.
“Of particular concern is the declaration by the Cross River State Governor that social distancing is not needed while wearing a face mask; a moratorium on the lockdown to allow mass gathering in mosques and churches starting from Friday to Sunday in Rivers State; and the lifting of the ban on Friday prayers by the Katsina and Kogi state governments.
“We are aware that similar orders have also been given in Ondo, Ebonyi and Imo states, which have approved mass attendance of Easter services.”
NMA, therefore warned that with more community transmission of COVID-19 being reported in the country, it was vital to eschew any measure that would promote mass gathering.