Cross River State Doctors Embark on Indefinite Strike, Say Governor Ayade Hiding COVID-19 Cases

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Cross River State Doctors Embark on Indefinite Strike, Say Governor Ayade Hiding COVID-19 Cases
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Nigeria Medical Association, Cross River chapter has accused the state Governor Ben Ayade of covering COVID-19 cases in the state, declaring an indefinite strike as a result.

The strike action was conveyed in a letter by the NMA State chairman Agam Ayuk, to the Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire on Sunday.

NMA sort to know why the five positive cases confirmed at the University College Teaching Hospital, Calabar have not been included in the daily update of coronavirus cases by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NDC).

The association equally expressed their displeasure with the Betta Edu, the state’s Commissioner for Health over unacceptable method of coordinating COVID-19 testing in the state.

The NMA’s letter to the minister reads in part, “The association demands explanation from NCDC why the five 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.

“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 have abdicated her responsibility of contact tracing, treatment and care for the five confirmed cases which may not be unconnected with the delay in publication of the results by NCDC. Congress demands the immediate activation of Adiabo Isolation Centre and commencement of surveillance and contact tracing in the state.

“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.

“The association passed a vote of no confidence on the Honorable Commissioner for Health – Dr. Betta Edu, and further referred her to the NMA National Disciplinary Committee and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for the unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state, thus putting lives at risk and bringing the association to disrepute.

“Arising from the meeting, all members of Nigerian Medical Association Cross River State branch in public and private hospitals have embarked on a total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services until NCDC and the state Ministry of Health give urgent and prompt attention to the issues raised.”

Last week’s announcement by Ikpeme Ikpeme, Chief Medical Director of UCTH of five confirmed COVID-19 cases was rebuffed by the state government who described his claim as false.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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