COVID-19 Regulations: We Should Spend More Time On Persuasion Not Law Enforcement – Prof Tomori

A man wash hands with sanitiser as he arrives at a Mosque following reopening of Mosques and lifting of restrictions on religious gatherings by the government as part of a set of measures taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus at the Secretariat Community Central Mosque, Alausa in Lagos, on August 7, 2020. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP
A man washes his hands as he arrives at a Mosque following the reopening of Mosques and lifting of restrictions on religious gatherings by the government as part of a set of measures taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus at the Secretariat Community Central Mosque, Alausa in Lagos, on August 7, 2020. PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

A Professor of Virology, Oyewole Tomori, has reacted to the newly signed Coronavirus Health Protection Regulation 2021 saying the Federal Government should consider the option of persuasion rather than law enforcement.

Professor Tomori said this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

“I think the ideal thing will be persuasion, we have failed in that. Even if you look at the regulations, it says the responsibility is on the people. I think the responsibility should be on the individual. Just as it has been raised, there is the complication of enforcing the law.

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“So, rather I wish we should spend our time more on persuasion. If we have been spreading that message right from the beginning I think maybe we will be better off than having this law,” Professor Tomori said.



Tomori when asked how the government will persuade Nigerians especially people at the grassroot, said persuasion must be done constantly and efforts put into place to ensure the information reaches all.

“Persuasion, you keep at it. You keep bringing awareness to the people. Out of the over 1,000 cases of fatality, how many of the people have actually been brought out to the public?

“We need to bring information closer to the home. When a Senator dies how does it affect me? But when my neighbour and breadwinner die, those are the things we should be stressing rather than putting the emphasis on one or two big men who died.”

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed the Coronavirus Health Protection Regulation 2021 in a bid to strengthen and enforce Nigeria’s protocols on COVID-19.

The President signed the six-part regulation on Tuesday which covered restrictions on gatherings, operations of public places, mandatory compliance with treatment protocols, offences and penalties, enforcement and application, interpretation and citation.

According to the document, any person who contravenes the provisions of the regulations is punishable by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.

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