Cross River chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Sunday July 5, embarked in an indefinite strike as confirmed in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire. 

The health workers who insisted that the lives of doctors are at risk over the COVID-19 situation in the state, queried the the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) over non-inclusion of Cross River State in its daily update of COVID-19.

The State’s Chairman of the NMA, Agam Ayuk revealed that five positive cases recorded in the state had their tests done at an approved laboratory of the NCDC, but are yet to be added to the NCDC’s daily update. 

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A vote of no confidence was also passed on Betta Edu, the state’s commissioner of health who they accused of recklessly handling the Coronavirus outbreak in the state. 

The letter partly read;

“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 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.”

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