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WHY ARE THE FIVE COVID 19 CONFIRMED CASES IN CROSS RIVER NOT INCLUDED IN NCDC DAILY BRIEFING?- NMA ASKS AS DOCTORS DECLARE INDEFINITE STRIKE IN THE STATE

The Nigerian Medical Association NMA Cross River State branch has demanded an explanation from the Nigeria Centre for Disease, and Control NCDC on why the Commission is yet to update the COVID-19 confirmed cases discovered in Cross River in their daily briefing. 


After an emergency General Meeting held on Sunday, July 5, both public and private doctors in Cross River has declared an indefinite strike over the “precarious public health and safety situation due to the confusion and uncertainty created by the delayed updating of the results by NCDC.”


Recall that Eons Intelligence reported that the Management of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital on Friday, June 3, revealed in an internal memo that  5 persons tested positive for COVID-19. 

 

According to its Chief Medical Director, Prof. Ikpeme A. Ikpeme, the tests were carried out using the PCR Technique at the NCDC Accredited Laboratory located at Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital, Abakiliki.


In a statement signed by the NMA, Cross River Branch, the Association queried the NCDC on the reason Cross River’s confirmed COVID 19 cases are yet to reflect in the Commission’s daily briefing despite the result being out since July 1. 


The Doctors in Cross River accused the State Government of abandoning her responsibility of contact tracing and treatment of the confirmed COVID 19 patients discovered within its territory.  They also demanded the immediate activation of Adiabo Isolation Centre and commencement of surveillance and contact tracing in the State. 

READ MORE: IT APPEARS CROSS RIVER MAY NOT BE COVID19 FREE- UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR TEACHING HOSPITAL CONFIRMS INDEX CASE

The Association also passed a Vote of No Confidence on the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, for what it terms as the “unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the State, thus putting lives at risk and bringing the Association to disrepute.” 


The statement reads in part: 


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.


 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 (5) 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. 


 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.


 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 (MDCN) 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. 


READ MORE: WE MUST PREPARE OURSELVES FOR THE ONSLAUGHT OF COVID-19 – BEN AYADE



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