Coronavirus: Doctors begin strike in Delta over alleged police harassment

Coronavirus: Doctors begin strike in Delta over alleged police harassment

- Medical doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Asaba have embarked on indefinite strike amid the coronavirus pandemic

- The doctors said the move become unavoidable after suffering repeated harassment from security operatives enforcing lockdown directive

- The state government had locked down the state as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Asaba, Delta state have withdrawn their services indefinitely.

The Nation reports that the doctors made the move over alleged harassment by security operatives enforcing lockdown directive. gathers that the lockdown order was issued by the state government as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The president of the ARD, Asaba FMC chapter, Osifo Patrick Nwabunor, said since the lockdown started on Wednesday, April 1, health workers in the state have been subjected to constant harassment by the police even when they present valid means of identification as essential service providers.

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Coronavirus: Doctors begin strike in Delta over alleged police harassment
Doctors begin strike in Delta over alleged police harassment. Photo credit: Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa
Source: Twitter

Nwabunor said the harassment came to a climax on Thursday, April 9, when a doctor, who was going for an emergency, was stopped and harassed.

He added that when other colleagues came to his rescue, they were allegedly tear-gassed.

He said as a result of the constant harassment, the doctors were embarking on “total shutdown of their services indefinitely until our safety and security is guaranteed.”

Nwabunor clarified that the association was not callous to embark on the indefinite strike in the midst of COVID-19 crisis but cannot continue to discharge their duties in an environment of constant threats and insecurity.

“These are challenging times in view of the COVID-19 but if our safety is not guaranteed, we will maintain the total shutdown,” he stated.

Nwabunor listed three conditions, including that no health worker should be harassed when he/she presents a valid means of identification; that items destroyed during the Okpanam issue should be replaced and that adequate security should be provided within the confines of the hospital before they can return to work.

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He also raised alarm about the paucity of protective kits for front line health workers across both federal and state hospitals, appealing to the authorities to provide the kits and as well as increase the hazard allowance.

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Earlier, reported that Delta state recorded its first COVID-19 death as a patient who tested positive for the virus died before the test result came out.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa stated on Thursday evening, April 9, on Twitter that the deceased patient who had underlying health issues had visited Lagos state in the past two weeks.

The Delta state governor also said that the deceased presented himself late to one of the state's hospitals with severe symptoms, including difficulty in breathing. ( -> We have upgraded to serve you better

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