Government blames rising COVID-19 cases on non-compliance
Approves special hazard, inducement allowances for health workers, others
The Federal Government has blamed the rising cases of community transmission of coronavirus disease in the country on non-compliance with lockdown directives, medical advice, unauthorised treatment of patients in private homes and unaccredited facilities.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force on COVlD-19 (PTF) daily briefing, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunmibe Mamora said government has activated two additional laboratories for COVID-19 network at the Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), Sokoto and Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria bringing the number to 15.
Mamora stated that all states were being supplied medical consumables to help boost their preparedness and response activities, adding that active case finding strategy with house-to-house and cluster testing was ongoing, which has contributed to increased case detection.
He observed that government is concerned about the rise in the number of persons diagnosed with COVID-19 in Kano state adding that the Federal is deploying a high powered fact-finding delegation to work with the state to improve Covid-19 response as well as ask questions on the causes of the reported deaths.
The minister noted that arresting the spread of the coronavirus requires individual and collective efforts. Also speaking, Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said the high number of cases in Kano was not surprising considering the population density but that the NCDC was concerned about it.
Meanwhile, following a review of the implication of COVlD-19 on healthcare delivery in the country, the federal government has approved a Special Hazard and Inducement Allowance of 50 per cent of consolidated basic salary for all health workers in all Federal centres and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) for the first three months.
Also, 40 per cent of consolidated basic salary would be paid as Special COVlD-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance to healthcare workers at Special Non-Public Hospitals and Clinics in the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for three months.
Besides, 20 per cent of the consolidated basic salary would be paid as Special Risk Allowance in addition to the allowance to health workers directly managing COVlD-19 at the infectious diseases hospitals, isolation and treatment centres.
He added that 10 per cent of consolidated basic salary would be paid to non-core medical professionals working in health sector for three months in the first instance, among others.
“In addition, the PTF has been urged to dedicate all the Life Insurance donations to the Volunteers and National Youth Service (NYSC) health workers, while the request for retirement of health workers to be moved up to 65 years, and that of medical doctors consultants to 70 years was discussed.
“Government agreed to look into this post-COVlD-19. However, in the interim government agrees to grant extension of service for healthcare workers retiring within the COVlD-19 period,” he added.