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NMA blames Edo government over rising cases of COVID-19

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• Disobedience to directive responsible for new cases, says govt
• NPDC gives Delta medical equipment to fight pandemic

The Edo State Branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) yesterday urged Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki to immediately close all the state borders to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

A statement signed by the Edo State NMA Chairman, Dr. valentine Omoifo, urged the state government to heed its advice on the need to close all the borders leading into Edo State.

He regretted that Edo State had continued to have increasing numbers of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 largely from new entrants into the state or those they have had contacts with.

According to the state NMA, “the breakdown shows that Edo State leads other states in the South-South geopolitical zone of the country in the number of positive cases and deaths.”

Lamenting the challenges faced by medical personnel in Edo State, particularly at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and Irrua Specialists Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Omoifo said there is an urgent need for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for doctors and other frontline medical staff in all hospitals across the state.

He said that measures put in place by the state government to enforce sit-at-home order and social distancing order had been largely ineffective.

Meanwhile, the management of the UBTH said it had put in place a nine-bed facility with global best practice to handle cases of COVID-19 in the institution.

Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) UBTH, Prof. Casmir Omuemu, who represented the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, while briefing journalists yesterday after a tour of facility prepared for patients of COVID-19 at the tertiary health institution, said the health workers had been adequately trained to carry out their duties as professionals.

He solicited Federal Government and corporate organisations’ intervention to support the hospital in the fight against the dreaded Coronavirus with donation of medical supplies and PPE.

However, the Edo State government has decried the level of compliance among residents, noting that the neglect was responsible for the new cases recorded in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, while speaking with journalists in Benin City, urged residents to support the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s efforts at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 by complying with all guidelines of the government, including the stay-at-home and social distancing directives.

In another development, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has donated personal protective and medical equipment worth millions of naira to Delta State government as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Managing Director of NPDC, Mansur Sambo, represented by Manager, Community Relations, Mr. Dahiru Abubakar, while presenting the items to the state government, said the donation was in support of Delta State government’s efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic.


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