Coronavirus: Declare health emergency now, rights group tells FG

March 24, 2020
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By Eze Nwabueze

The federal government has been called upon to urgently
declare Health Emergency in all the states of the federation, through  the provision of emergency funds from the
consolidated account to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

The called was contained in a press statement issued to
newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra state yesterday by a human rights group, World
Alliance Against Terrorism, Violence and Inhuman Treatment (WAATVIT).

In the statement signed by its African President, Dr.
Anthony Orunkoya Esq., WAATVIT stated that the current budgetary allocation in
Nigeria for the health sector is barely enough to take care of primary health
care programs and projects in Nigeria and as such if Corona virus should spread
further than this in Nigeria, it would not only be devastating  but overwhelming for the current budgetary
allocation in the health sector to bear.

Orunkoya argued that the practice of treating persons
suspected to be carriers of Covid-19 at regular hospitals or health centres
across Nigeria is wrong and against World Health Organization, WHO regulations
on disease and pandemic control.

According to Dr. Orunkoya who is a legal practitioner,
“government act of treating Covid-19 patients in regular hospitals or
health centres puts patients with regular ailments who are in such hospitals
for treatment at great risk and offends human rights provision of right to life
which is constitutionally guaranteed and provided in lnternational Conventions
on Human Rights”.

The group therefore urge States and Federal Government to
emulate China and USA on the practice of pandemic control and  commence as a matter of urgency building and
equipping Special health and pandemic control centres to diagnose, admit and
treat victims of Corona virus and other pandemic deceases across Nigeria by
using funds from the consolidated account as special intervention funds for
such projects.

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