By Egena Sunday Ode
A non- governmental organisation, COVID-19 Situation Room and Research Center (CSRRC), has urged the federal government to stiplulate punshment and prosecute citizens who go about without their facemasks.
The Centre said with the continuous spike in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, the time had come for government to get more strict with the enforcement of protocols meant to halt the spread of the disease.
Director of Media and Publicity of the organisaton, Amb. Johnson Adesida stated this in a press statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.
Adesida who was reacting to the review of the second phase of the ease of lockdown by the federal government urged that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) should be immediately mandated to carry out the task of ensuring that all Nigerians were compelled to always wear their facemasks especially in pubic places.
Citing expert opinions, Amb. Adesida also noted that the use of face-masks could reduce the rate of infections by at least 50 percent.
He also argued that the threat of denial of government services to non facemask users as announced by the government was too mild to force compliance.
On the lifting of the restrictions on inter-state travels and partial reopening of schools, the NGO hailed the government for listening to its suggestions, as Adesina emphasised that that had been their position all along.
While CSRC commending the FG for lifting the ban on Inter-state travels, Adesida, insisted that the FG should come clear on the consequences for disobeying the established protocol s of the PTF.
It, also, said beyond the precision lockdown being proposed for some 16 local governments said to be responsible for about 60 percent of the COVID-19 infection in the country, emphasis should be placed on observance of all protocols in their entirety.
The federal government, through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had announced on Monday that schools would partially reopen to allow exiting pupils and students take their final examinations.