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Covid-19 in Nigeria

COVID-19: Doctors in Cross River proceed on indefinite strike

Valentine Chinyem

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The Cross River Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has ordered ita members to proceed on indefinite strike, over the governments poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was made known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Sunday.

In the letter, Dr. Agam Ayuk, state chairman of the association, said doctors are at risk over the COVID-19 situation in the state, asking the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), why Cross River is not captured in its daily update of dreaded disease.

The association noted that despite recording five positive cases in the state, the NCDC is yet to published it in the agency’s situation report.

“The Association demands explanation from NCDC, why the five (5) COVID-19 confirmed cases from UCTH carried out at the NCDC accredited Molecular Laboratory at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, have not reflected in the daily situation report of NCDC long after results had been transmitted to UCTH since July 1, 2020. Congress demands update of the NCDC situation report as a matter of urgent public health interest,” the association said.

“Congress demands explanations from NCDC, why epidemiology code numbers have to be generated by Cross River State Ministry of Health before results of samples sent by UCTH to an NCDC approved Molecular Laboratory can be published by NCDC despite having approved UCTH as an independent Test Centre.

“The NCDC is put on notice that the Cross River State Government has abdicated her responsibility of contact tracing, treatment and care for the five (5) confirmed cases which may not be unconnected with the delay in publication of the results by NCDC.

“The members of the Association and residents of Cross River State have been put in a precarious public health and safety situation due to the confusion and uncertainty created by the delayed updating of the results by NCDC.

“Congress demands explanation from NCDC why despite several complaints of compromised testing in the State, investigations have not commenced on the unethical activities carried out by Cross River State COVID-19 Task Force.”

Cross River is the only state in Nigeria that has not recorded a single COVID-19 case.