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Cross River faults NMA, insists it observes extant COVID-19 protocols

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As Delta doctors set for strike

The Cross River government yesterday faulted the July 22, 2020 petition by the state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to the Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie, accusing it of undermining the existing COVID-19 protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF).

In the complaint, signed by NMA’s state chairman and secretary, Drs. Agam Ayuk and Ezoke Epoke, the body had claimed that the Governor Ben Ayade administration was not implementing the resolutions of the July 7, 2020 meeting involving a delegation of the PTF and the Federal Ministry of Health as well as the doctors and the state Ministry of Health on the preventive guidelines.

Prior to the gathering, the association, had in June, embarked on an industrial action, blaming the state government for alleged non-testing and information hoarding.

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In the letter, the physicians specifically accused the current administration in the state of not activating its 100-bed isolation centre at Adiabo on the outskirts of Calabar.

They also argued that there had been no significant progress in respect of reaction to outbreak vis-a-vis NCDC’s strategic response pillars and transmission of positive results to the situation report room, in addition to supposed lack of evidence of contact tracing.

The medics held: “This lack of transparency and refusal to transmit confirmed result are a major cause for concern.”
But in a situation report made available to newsmen yesterday in the capital, the Commissioner for Health and chairman of the state Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr. Betta Edu, dismissed the claims, stating: “All the incident action plan pillars have been activated. The NCDC team on ground has been working with the state response team, and they are satisfied with the response.”

“All 13 pillars are running with daily Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) meeting between 8 and 10am. This is fully supported by the National Rapid Response Team from NCDC. The state has started active case search in border communities of Etung, Boki Obanliku, Obudu, Ikom and Akamkpa councils,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Delta State, said they would join the strike in solidarity with their NMA colleagues as they prepare to embark on a three-day warning strike today. 

President of ARD, Asaba FMC branch, Dr. Nwabunor Osifo, disclosed this during a media briefing, saying they were in support of the COVID-19 warning strike to be embarked upon by the NMA, insisting that whatever affected their colleagues also affected them.

Osifo added that the doctors were aggrieved that besides government’s failure to pay the COVID-19 hazard inducement allowance and tax rebate as promised the health workers, as well as shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and lack of funding for tertiary institutions needed to contain coronavirus.

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Ehanire OsagieNCDCNMA
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