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COVID-19: Edo Government responsible for rising cases – NMA alleges

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The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Edo State branch has called on the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to immediately close all borders in the State to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

In a statement signed by the State NMA Chairman, Dr. valentine Omoifo, he said the state government ought to have heeded the advice on the need to close all the borders in and outside Edo State.

He regretted that Edo State had continued to have increasing number of confirmed cases of the deadly COVID-19 which he alleged was largely from new entrants into the State or those they have had contacts with.

According to Omoifo, “the breakdown shows that Edo State leads other states in the South-South geopolitical zone of the country in the number of confirmed positive cases and deaths.”

Lamenting the challenges faced by medical personnel in Edo State, particularly at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and Irrua Specialists Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Omoifo said there was an urgent need for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for doctors and other frontline medical staff in all hospitals across the State.

He said that measures put in place by the state government to enforce sit-at-home order and social distancing order had been largely ineffective.

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Meanwhile, the management of the UBTH said it had put in place a nine-bed facility with global best practice to handle cases of COVID-19 in the institution.

On his part, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) UBTH, Prof. Casmir Omuemu, who represented the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, also told journalists after a tour of facility prepared for patients of COVID-19 at the hospital, that the health workers had been adequately trained to carry out their duties as professionals.

He solicited for Federal Government, spirited individuals and corporate organisations’ intervention to support the hospital in the fight against the dreaded Coronavirus with donation of medical supplies and PPE.

However, the Edo State government has decried the level of compliance among residents, noting that the neglect was responsible for the new cases recorded in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, while speaking with journalists in Benin City, urged residents to support the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s efforts at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 by complying with all guidelines of the government, including the stay-at-home and social distancing directives.

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