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NMA, laboratory scientists decry low compliance with physical distancing, use of face masks in Oyo State


The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) in Oyo State have decried the low level of compliance with the use of face masks and observation of physical distancing by residents of the state amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Oyo State Chairman of the NMA, Dr. Akin Sodipe, who spoke with The Guardian in Ibadan at the weekend, said: “The compliance is less than two per cent. It is not being enforced. It is one thing to make a law; it becomes effective if you enforce it. People do what they feel like doing. Nobody is wearing face mask and no physical distancing is being maintained. Nobody likes his or her freedom to be taken away unless it is enforced. Somebody enjoys the freedom. You need to let them know what they need to do.

Like I keep saying – a good leader takes you to where you will be, not where you want to be. If he takes you to where you want to be, he is only wasting your time. You don’t want to be where he is taking you to but you will appreciate it later. So, we need enforcement. It is going to be Herculean to the people but at the end of the day, they will praise you for it if it is well enforced. If it is not enforced, it is just an effort in futility.

“Please, use face masks, keep physical distancing, hand-washing, hand-sanitising. Somebody must be somewhere to ensure they do it. Government has done tremendously well in the area of information dissemination. It is the enforcement part of it that needs to be done now,” he said.

Sodipe, therefore, urged adequate testing, saying once the tests are conducted, the patients could be treated.

In the same vein, Chairman of AMLSN, Idowu Akinbola, said: “In as good as physical distancing is one of the things that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people are yet to abide by that, especially when you get to our markets and motor parks or a place where there are a lot of people; you will discover that physical distancing measure is not being observed by a lot of people. As far as the issue of social distancing and use of face-masks are concerned, up till now, quite a number of people are not maintaining that, especially when you get to our public places like markets and motor parks.

“People should prevent themselves from having this virus. That means that everybody has to take responsibility.”


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