From Isaac Ojo, Nnewi
Against the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Dr Joe Ugboaja, has called for a stricter compliance to the COVID-19 preventive strategies, especially the use of face masks and observance of social distancing among members of the public.
Dr Ugboaja who is the Director of Clinical services, Research and Training of the hospital as well as the Chairman, COVID-19 Taskforce of the hospital, made this call yesterday while addressing newsmen at the weekly press briefing on the activities of the Taskforce.
“Time has come for everybody to take responsibility for curtailing the spread of this virus. This is the only way we can arrest this ugly trend and flatten the curve. It is unfortunate and highly worrisome that even in the face of escalating rates of infection; most people still go about their businesses as if nothing is happening.
“Every day, you see people moving up and down in groups without face mask and with minimal regards to physical distancing. The markets and work places are filled with people clustered together without face masks. The pubs and beer parlours are all bubbling with activities with people paying little or no attention to covid-19 preventive strategies,” he explained.
The CMAC NAUTH, said the careless attitude of the members of the public is largely responsible for the increasing number of cases presenting at the Teaching hospital for management.
He stressed that if nothing was done to quickly halt or reverse the ugly trend, the hospital will soon be overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19 and will not be able to help further.
The CMAC, therefore called on all stakeholders to quickly join hands with the hospital and the government in the fight to halt the spread of the deadly virus.
‘’There is an urgent need for all the stakeholders including religious, community and political leaders to join hands with NAUTH and the government in the fight to curtail the spread of this virus by sensitizing the members of their constituencies and putting structures in place to monitor compliance to the covid-19 preventive strategies and punish offenders.
“There is need to strengthen the existing COVID-19 Taskforce teams and establish new ones at the communities, villages, churches, markets and work places to enforce compliance to COVID-19 protocols,” he declared.
In terms of the activities of the Taskforce, the CMAC said that members of the Taskforce, especially the Rapid Response Team and other staff members of the Isolation Unit and Accident & Emergency have been very outstanding and deserves a lot of commendation.
“NAUTH Nnewi which is central in identifying , isolating and managing cases of COVID-19 needs to be supported with the personal protective kits including the face masks, the PPE gowns , booths, face shields and other materials,” he said.