By Chuks Ekpeneru
22 doctors and 60 other health workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Rivers State the local branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said.
Speaking through the state’s chairperson of the association, Dr. Obelebra Adebiyi, they decried lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which he said had exposed the health workers to the virus.
The association called on the state to urgently make an upward review of the hazard allowances paid to doctors under the state government employment..
Adebiyi said: “The number of cases in Rivers State moved from zero, in less than 8 weeks, to about 450 confirmed cases with 21 deaths. This is really a worrisome situation.
“More worrisome to us is the rising cases of infection among health workers. Currently 22 doctors and over 60 health workers have been confirmed positive and are receiving treatment across different isolation centers in the state.
“The state has also recorded death of a health worker through coronavirus. This clearly calls for more action from the government, the heads of government and private health facilities in the state, and indeed the general public.
“When health workers are unprotected, the risk for infection rises significantly and our collective effort to fight the pandemic is greatly hampered. This is another issue that must be urgently addressed if we will make progress in our fight against COVID-19.”
Rivers recorded 28 new cases on Friday, the last day for which records are available.