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Anxiety in Kaduna as three COVID-19 cases are linked to governor’s retinue

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Doctors threaten to withdraw services over police harassment

There is tension in Kaduna State Government House, as three of the four cases of coronavirus in the state have been linked to the retinue of Governor Nasir el-Rufai.

Staff of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House are on the edge because they might have been in close contact with the cases.

The governor, who is on self-isolation, has been receiving treatment on the disease.

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However, the whereabouts of the three cases is yet to be established, as medical experts in the state turned down inquiries on where they were being quarantined.

A Government House source confided in journalists that some high profile staff and domestic workers of Governor el-Rufai were also being tested for the disease.

Efforts made to know where the governor and others were quarantined were frustrated, as none of those contacted seemed to have an idea of the place.

In another vein, resident doctors have threatened to withdraw their services to patients of coronavirus across the country, if armed security agents continue to harass and assault their members.

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President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, stated at the weekend after an emergency meeting to review the plight of doctors handling COVID-19 cases, that apart from the risk doctors were exposed to in attending to COVID-19 patients, armed security men are attacking them in some parts of the country.

He said: “We have continued to receive shocking news of assaults on doctors across the country, the latest being on a senior member of our association in Akwa Ibom State.

“Even as all the five cases that tested positive to COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom are healthcare workers (including two doctors), doctors in the state have continued to find motivation and rare courage to sustain the fight.”

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According to him, the doctors have continued to advocate for the provision of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), but it appears that their advocacy is falling on deaf ears.

“As though this development was not tragic enough, some overzealous policemen accosted a doctor on his way to the hospital and assaulted him despite appropriate identification, inflicted multiple injuries on him, including a fracture to the left forearm bone.

“It is painful to note that this is happening when the rest of the world is rolling out packages to appreciate, encourage and protect their doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare providers.

“Whereas some security agents in Nigeria consider this perilous time an opportunity to exert their penchant for violence and brigandage on citizens and grandstand, we will not hesitate to respond appropriately to protect our members from such dastardly acts.”

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