COVID-19: Health sector coalition expresses worry over lifting of ban on gatherings

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By Abujah Racheal

Abuja – Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC), has expressed concern over lifting of bans by some states on some gatherings, including Friday and Easter services against the social distancing policy.

The policy was put in place by the Federal Government to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

This was contained in a statement signed by Mike Egboh and Dr Chizoba Wonodi, HSRC COVID-19 Response Task Team Co-chairs respectively, on Friday in Abuja.

The co-chairs noted the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and similar decision by some governors across the country, was a welcome development that was imperative in containing the spread of COVID-19 and avoiding the high number of deaths that could follow.

They expressed worry lifting of the ban could have disastrous effects on the system and economy, as witnessed in countries like the U.S., Italy, and UK, among others.

“HSRC with its membership of over 100 non-governmental actors, working to improve care and development across every state in Nigeria, recognises and respects the importance of worship and religious celebrations to us Nigerians.

“We acknowledge and value the role of religious leaders and faith-based organisations in providing spiritual support faith for their followers in a healthy and safe environment,” the statement read in part.

The HSRC further appreciated the socio-economic difficulties being faced by Nigerians over the lockdown in the country saying: “Unfortunately, options are limited for now in the best ways to fight the spread.

“Scientific evidence and experience from developed and developing countries reinforce avoiding crowd, physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory hygiene, are the best ways to prevent the spread and associated deaths,” HSRC advised.