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Doctors lament rising COVID-19 infections, deaths among colleagues

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Okebukola urges penalties for schools violating safety protocols

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have raised the alarm over rising cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths among their members.

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President of NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah, said: “The situation has got almost out of hand. More and more doctors are getting infected and more are dying from the disease. Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has asked us to compile the names of all doctors infected with COVID-19 and those that have died.

“I cannot give you the names, but I can give you the number of doctors so far infected with COVID-19 and those that have died. We need more protection and life insurance cover from the government.”

Also, National President of NARD, Dr. Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, who spoke in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday, at the end of the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and scientific conference, said the doctors demand a review of their hazard allowance and implementation of the life insurance scheme.

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The Federal Government had promised to increase the hazard allowance for health workers and review their comprehensive life insurance in May last year

Also on September 9 2020, it approved additional N8.9b to settle the June 2020 COVID-19 allowances of all health workers in the country but had not fulfilled the promises.

The situation had led to an indefinite strike in all Federal and state hospitals in the country to press for its demands.

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BESIDES, the aircraft carrying South Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccines, yesterday, landed at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, state broadcaster SABC reported, as the country prepares to commence its immunisation campaign.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and other top officials were at the airport to receive the one million doses after some scientists criticised the government for not securing the vaccines earlier.
MEANWHILE, former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola, has urged state governments to sanctions schools that violate the COVID-19 safety measures.

Okebukola gave the charge at the opening of the National Education Summit on COVID-19 And The Future Of Education In Contemporary Nigeria, organised by Human Development Initiative (HDI) in Abuja.

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Okebukola who is also Chairman of Council, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), maintained that it was not enough to roll out guidelines without monitoring and implementation.

Executive Director, HDI, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, lamented that closing schools due to the pandemic further exposed inadequacies in the nation’s education sector.

She explained that many states had rolled out measures towards ensuring that learning continued during the lockdown, adding, however, that children in rural areas were left out, as they were not equipped to adapt or transition to the new methods of learning.

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