Experts have warned against another lockdown to fight the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country, noting that it would drive Nigeria into permanent recession.
In the same breath, they have flayed Nigerians’ disregard for the non-pharmaceutical protocols advised by the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, on Thursday, January 7, said that the Federal Government may impose a fresh lockdown on the country if the rising cases of COVID-19 infections recorded lately continue.
According to the experts, made up of researchers and doctors from the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and medical institutes, another lockdown without palliatives would create socio-economic hardship among the general populace.
However, they noted that whether a lockdown was imposed or not, strict adherence to COVID-19 rules and regulations was obligatory, adding that failure by Nigerians to comply with the protocols was the cause of the second wave of infections and fatalities.
One of them, President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Professor Innocent Ujah, while dismissing the clamour for lockdown, said: “My own view is that we are not compliant with COVID-19 rules.
“Nigerians should be compliant with the NCDC protocol, that is the first thing to do. It is not just about lockdown; if you lock down and people are not compliant, it will not work.
“So, we must accept the fact that we must comply with the NCDC protocol.
“Lockdown, I accept, is to stop transmission, but it has its economic and social consequences.
“So, we have to balance the economy, social circumstances, and health – it is ideal if we have everything, if we have palliative.
“If people have palliatives and they can eat and meet their basic obligations, then obviously we may be able to lockdown.