The Rivers government has launched a campaign on the compulsory use of face masks in healthcare facilities within the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this at a meeting with healthcare providers in Port Harcourt, according to a statement issued by his Media Aide, Soibi Max-Alalibo on Tuesday.
Nsirim, who heads the state Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19, said that the reason behind the government’s decision was to halt the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
“It is believed that wearing face masks will help to curb the spread of the pandemic. So we want to launch a campaign on the wearing of the protective item.
“We want the healthcare professionals to paste (the compulsory wearing of face masks) stickers on their premises (healthcare facilities).
“We also want them to ensure that in their interactions with patients, they impress it on them that wearing a face mask is compulsory anytime they are within their facilities.
“Government believes that if we imbibe the wearing of face masks, it will go a long way in curbing the spread of the virus,” he said.
Nsirim assured of Gov. Nyesom Wike’s commitment to sustaining the achievements recorded in the fight against coronavirus in the state.
He said that the meeting was also organised to inform medical professionals of the need to adopt the protocols of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on the prevention of the deadly disease.
“Our healthcare professionals have done so much, but a lot still needs to be done, especially in the recently-identified gaps in the management of suspected COVID-19 positive cases in the state.
“The gaps identified in the handling of this matter pose a lot of questions on how we should be operating at this point in time.
“So we are here to rub minds on how we can handle patients with symptoms of COVID-19 and how we can manage the information.
“Also how we respond to them and how we can liaise with the emergency operations centre of the state government,” the commissioner added.
The statement listed the medical and health workers’ unions that attended the meeting to include the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
This also included the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) and the Nigeria Optometric Association.