COVID-19: ECOWAS Parliament Speaker tasks govt to protect medical personnel

By John Okeke

In a bid to effectively contain the spraed of global pandemic, COVID-19, the Spaeker ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohamed has tasked governments in the sub-region to make adequate provision to protect medical personnel.

Tunis who gave this charge in a statement noted that our dedicated doctors, nurses and other auxiliary medical personnel who put their lives on the line to respond to emergencies must be protected.

He noted that the basic supply needed to provide them maximum protection from the pandemic such as hand gloves, face masks and protective jackets should be provided by governments.

The Speaker also commended the pro-active efforts of governments in the sub-region for putting in place several measures that would help limit the spread of the virus, stressing that the travel restriction imposed on countries hard hit by the disease is a right step in a right direction.

He said, “I wish to use this medium to commend the pro-active efforts of our governments in the sub-region. They have indeed acted fast under the circumstances, by putting in place several measures that would help limit the spread of the virus. In particular, i wish to commend the travel restriction imposed on countries hard hit by the disease. Furthermore, the immediate creation of Isolation Centres shows the willingness to address the scourge head on.”

He observed that there may be the need to expand existing isolation facilities and get them fully equipped with additional beds, ventilators and other essential medical supplies.

He recalled that the disease was first discovered in Wuhan, China last December and since then it spread very fast to Europe, United States, Africa and specifically West Africa.

“As at March 24, 2020, there are about 251 confirmed cases reported in ECOWAS Member States. With the exception of Mali, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau, all other 12 member states are impacted with a total of 7deaths across 3 states. These figures are expected to be on the rise in the coming days,” the speaker predicted.

While advising governments of the sub-region to avoid any form of panic but face the situation boldly, the Speaker also urged community citizens to adhere strictly to medical advice especially as it relates to personal hygiene, social distancing and avoidance of self medication.

He noted that leadership of the parliament will continue to monitor the current situation as it unfolds to determine the appropriateness or otherwise of holding the 2020 First Ordinary Session usually scheduled in the month of May.

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