The Lagos state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has issued a sit-at-home directive to its members.
According to a statement on Wednesday, signed by Saliu Oseni, chairman Lagos NMA, the directive takes effect from 6pm today.
More than 50 essential workers, including doctors were said to have been arrested by the police in Lagos on Tuesday following the directive of Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police.
The association said the sit-at-home directive is to protest against the “incessant harassment” of doctors and other health workers by security agents enforcing the directive on restriction of movement in Lagos.
According to the guidelines issued by the presidential task force on COVID-19 and the Lagos state government, essential service providers, such as health workers, are exempted from the restriction of movement, especially during curfew hours from 8pm to 6am.
NMA alleged that enforcement officials ignore the exemption of health workers, and that many of its members have been subjected to “harrassment and intimidation”.
The association also said it received many calls from its members on Tuesday, with reports of “several cases of harassment and intimidation of doctors and other health workers” by security operatives, to the “extent that even ambulances carrying patients with emergency cases were impounded”.
“The Lagos State Branch of the NMA has resolved that it is presently unsafe for members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement,” it said.
“All Medical Doctors in Lagos State are hereby advised to proceed on a sit-at-home, in their best interest, starting from 6pm today, Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 indefinitely, until otherwise advised.”