Doctors in Cross River State have embarked on an indefinite strike over the government’s nondisclosure of COVID-19 infections in the state.
The doctors, under the umbrella of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) announced their decision to down tool in a letter written to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Sunday.
Chairman of the state NMA, Dr. Agam Ayuk, said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has not included Cross River in its daily update on COVID-19.
According to the group, the state government was neglecting “her responsibility of contact tracing, treatment, and care for the five confirmed cases which may not be unconnected with the delay in the publication of the results by NCDC.”
The letter read in parts: “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.
“We trust that the relevant authorities will act decisively, within the shortest possible time to bring to a timely end our total and indefinite withdrawal of medical services.”
Furthermore, the NMA also accused the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Betta Edu, of unethical handling of COVID-19 testing in the state.
It “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.”
The association’s action comes on the heels of the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Ikpeme Ikpeme, announcing that five patients tested positive for COVID-19 in the hospital.
The state government, however, accused him of spreading falsehood.
Governor Ben Ayadi has insisted that efforts made by his administration have prevented a COVID-19 outbreak in the state.