- A group has disagreed with the federal government's position asking COVID-19 survivours not to disclose their treatment routine
- The group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, said the order amounts to curtailing freedom of expression
- The group also said there is public cynicism about the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria by the government
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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the federal government's methods of handling issues of containment, treatments and finding cures to the dreaded COVID-19 disease.
The group in a statement sent to journalists on Sunday, May 17, said gagging citizens from disclosing their treatment regime whilst in the COVID-19 isolation centres, “amounts to curtailing their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental freedoms of expression and information.”
The group also alleged that there is heightened public cynicism about the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria by the Presidential Task Force (PTF).
The group wondered why the PTF is dominated by politicians and persons not vast in the field of sciences, adding that “this has contributed to stoking the embers of public cynicism on the commitment of the current government to battle the scourge of COVID-19.”
“The federal government's warning to COVID-19 survivors to stop giving details of the drugs used for their treatment, so they don’t encourage self-medication is unconstitutional and has further strengthened the conspiracy theories about the certainty of the rate of spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“That statement is like telling the entire world that what the PTF on the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria has been doing is to engage in voodooism contrary to expectations of 21st-century compliant scientific inquiries and research in line with best global practices,” the group said in the statement signed by its leader, Emmanuel Onwubiko.
The federal government had on Friday, May 15 asked COVID-19 survivors to stop revealing the drugs used for their treatment in order to discourage self-medication among Nigerians.
The chairman, PTF on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the plea at the task force press briefing in Abuja.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), expressed worry that disclosing the prescription for treatment of the virus could encourage patients to indulge in self-medication instead of seeking help from health authorities.
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