The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said some personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other items used in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was looted from one of its offices in Nigeria in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the African Regional Director of WHO, confirmed this while responding to a question at a webinar on Thursday.
She, however, did not mention the location of the office.
“I think it is always a concern when you have mass gatherings under conditions where people are not taking the precautions and certainly under these conditions where people are rioting, demonstrating and looting, clearly, people are not taking precautions and the risks are there,” Moeti said to the Punch while responding to a question on what effects the protests and looting on the COVID-19 fight in Nigeria.
“As I said, we were concerned not just by the situation in Nigeria which is very sad by the way and we know that in the process, the WHO office in one part of Nigeria was actually looted and so were some stores of the Personal Protective Equipment, it is a very sad situation.”
On whether Nigerians should expect an increase in infections, Moeti said, “It is a concern and we will wish to see the situation easing as far as possible and I think it means there is a need to be really sure that the public health interventions are there to respond” to any eventualities.
“It is similar to the situation in Guinea as I said where there were mass demonstrations and violence in very unsafe situations.”
The WHO regional director said Africa had witnessed a decline in the rate of infections since July which led to many countries relaxing lockdowns.
She, however, said in the last couple of weeks, the rate of decrease of infections had slowed down.