Lagos NMA reverses stay-at-home directive

Coronavirus test

Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has ordered its members to return to work following the reversal of the stay-at-home order.

The association gave the directive in a joint statement on Thursday by its chairman and secretary, Dr Saliu Oseni and Dr Ramon Moronkola, respectively.

The NMA had on Wednesday ordered its members to down tools and remain at home indefinitely after the arrest of some health workers for alleged violation of curfew in the state.

The doctors also said their decision was as a result of the conflicting directives by the state government and law enforcement agents on the status of essential workers, including doctors and other health workers regarding movement in the state.

“The NMA, Lagos state branch has resolved that it is presently unsafe for its members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement,” they said in the statement on Thursday.

The NMA leaders said following the directive, the Nigerian Police Force had reached out to the association to clarify and give assurance of their cooperation with all health workers.

“The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was exemplary as his timely intervention from the late hours of May 19, helped prevent the worsening of the situation.

“The association has further received assurances from the governor and the top hierarchy of the police, that no health workers will be further harassed in the course of their lawful efforts to sustain services in the middle of the pandemic.

“Above all, the passionate appeal from the good people of Lagos state is difficult to resist, considering the fact that they will be most hit by the situation,” the statement said.

The NMA officials commended the governor for his timely intervention and continued assurance in ensuring that health workers who were held by the police were released immediately, and in preventing subsequent recurrence.

The leaders appreciated the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, and the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, for their timely intervention.

The NMA reassured the citizens of their commitment to continuing to partake actively in the fight against COVID-19 and the delivery of quality healthcare during the ongoing phased easing of restriction of movement and beyond.