|The Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) has appealed to the
Federal Government to make isolation compulsory for anyone suspected to
have had contact with persons who are positive to the novel coronavirus.
This is even as the group expressed fears over possible spread of the disease
In a statement jointly signed by president and general secretary of the
Nigeria currently has 51 cases of the disease, otherwise known as COVID-19.
With its death toll hovering around 21,000 globally at the time of filing this
The virus which was first reported in Wuhan, China late 2019 has ravaged
The US, Spain, Italy, Germany, Iran, Algeria, Morocco among others are facing some of their worst moments in dealing with the scourge.
ANHEJ said in its message that it was deeply concerned over the daily
The association said new cases of the virus emerging from the nation are not
ANHEJ listed aides of political office holders who have tested positive for the virus as few examples of such persons, as it emphasized on need for forced
It called on the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and the National Centre
Besides, ANHEJ called on tiers of government in the country to make primary health care centres more functional, well-equipped with personnel to handle
Read the full statement below.
The Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) is deeply concerned
As at Thursday morning, March 26, 2020, Nigeria has so far recorded 51
Out of the figure, 48 are active cases, 2 discharged and 1 death. Most worrisome, however, is that, a considerable number of the newly confirmed cases are not imported.
What this implies is that our situation is gradually getting to community spread of the diseases.
This is evident in the case of aides of some top government functionaries who are said to have come down with the illness without travelling outside the
Even though it is not time to apportion blames, as journalists covering the
We have severally argued that some Nigerians may not observe the voluntarily 14-days self-isolation, hence, the need to force them in order to prevent them from spreading the disease in the country.
Our fears seem to be coming true. We, however, insist that force isolation for anyone coming into the country is the way to go. ANHEJ, therefore, calls on the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to, as matter of urgency, track all the people that might have had close contact with the top government
Nobody should be left out, no matter how high placed. They should be closely monitored for 14 days.
Considering that most of the states in the country are closing businesses, the rural areas will definitely witness influx of those coming from the city, hence, the tendency to have the disease spread to the rural areas.
The federal and states governments must, therefore, intensify efforts to ensure that Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) have the needed workforce with the required skill to identify suspected cases and then report to the appropriate authorities for necessary action.
ANHEJ also calls on the Federal Ministry of Health, the NCDC, to provide all the necessary protective materials to its members (journalists) who are at the centre of this crisis.
The governments at both the federal and state levels should develop ingenious ways of supporting indigent people to alleviate their sufferings in the event that there is total shut down of activities in the
We also call on the federal government to provide the necessary funding to
The Taskforce, should, on the other hand, partner with all agencies of government and the private sector for better result.
ANHEJ is therefore, determined to work closely with all relevant government agencies, the private sector and the Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the way we did during Ebola crisis to provide our people
ANHEJ is a group of professional journalists assigned by different media organisations to cover activities in the health sector in Nigeria.
Gloria Essien (Gen. Secretary)