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COVID-19: NMA cries out over absence of isolation centres, lack of doctors in Cross River

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COVID-19: Nigerian doctors condemn lockdown ease says Govs have put citizens at risk

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Cross River State branch has cried out that the state is in danger due to absence of isolation centres and lack of enough medical personnel to handle medical challenges of COVID-19.

Addressing a press conference at the association secretariat in Calabar on Wednesday, the Chairman, Dr. Agam E. Ayuk, lamented that in case COVID-19 occurred in the state, the state would be in serious danger.

The group said, “The Cross River State Government has no Isolation Centre. The 4 –bed capacity Isolation Unit at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, (UCTH) Calabar is the Infectious Disease Ward of the Department of Microbiology.”

The association further said that the Central Working Committee of Health Practitioner in the state had on April 8, 2020 informed the State Commissioner for Health that the UCTH Isolation Centre lacked basic facilities, equipment and accessories based on NCDC specifications

“The patient capacity of UCTH Isolation Centre is grossly inadequate. Hence, we recommend that the State Government should set up a more expansive and accommodating Isolation Centre as soon as possible.”

On inadequate medical personnel, the group regretted the interview the Commissioner for Health had granted AIT on April 14, saying that the state has 105 Doctors, “For the avoidance of doubt, we have only 33 Doctors in the State Civil Service.”

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“The number of doctors in the State is the least in the country. The doctors in the state civil service earn 46-54% of what his/her colleagues earn across the country.

Interestingly, the group also pointed out that the use of nose masks was not sufficient to protect people from getting COVID-19 and called on the adoption of other strategies, “Use of nose masks alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection.

“Face mask is complementary to social/physical distancing of at least one metre, avoiding mass gatherings, effective hand and respiratory hygiene and cleaning of all contact surfaces among other measures as recommended by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organization (WHO),” the group advised.

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