Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, has described the strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) as ill-advised and premised on wrong reasons. Edu, who spoke, yesterday, during a live breakfast show on a national television, insisted that the reason given by the doctors had nothing to do with the state.
She also scoffed at claims that the state has not managed the coronavirus pandemic well, insisting that the state has been above board and at the forefront of managing the pandemic in the country.
“Cross River State started as early as January 7, to sensitise its people, setting up the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) with the NMA playing a part. Military and para-military personnel were also involved with screening at border posts. We embarked on the no mask, no movement policy and distributed personal protective equipment.
“For testing, Cross River is attached to Irrua in Edo State. It requires a whole day’s travel and most times, even when you get there, they will complain of lack of regents in the laboratory. It made the process cumbersome to get results ready within 48 hours amidst the numerous expenses while we kept calling on Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to come set up our own laboratory,” she said.
She said when sample collection and contact tracing were ongoing, the NMA was still casting doubts, including results declared by NCDC.
“Describing the strike as a very sad development, she said the decision to go on strike by NMA has put “millions of lives of Cross Riverians at risk because NCDC did not upload results. First and foremost, neither the state government nor the health ministry was informed about any five positive cases by the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.