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RSG faults NMA claim that 82 Health workers have contracted COVID-19 in Rivers State

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Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu

The Rivers State Government has denied claims that 82 health workers have been infected with covid-19 in the state.

The Commissioner of Health in Rivers State, Prof PRINCEWILL CHIKWE while debunking claims by NMA Chairman in the state Dr OBELEBRA ADEBIYI said the data she put forward to the public are false and baseless.

Prof PRINCEWILL CHIKWE said the State Government has provided sufficient Personal Protective Equipment PPE for all designated State treatment centres.

He noted that State Government has also donated large quantities of complete PPE sets to the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria in the Tertiary Health care institutions in the State.

It is incorrect to say that eighty two (82) Health Care workers are infected with COVID in the State. This data is false and is not a reflection of the PCR laboratory data or the numbers on the National data repository of the NCDC.

One therefore wonders what gain comes from the deliberate distortion of figures in this attempt to grandstand. The State is ready to partner with the NMA for better health outcomes but the NMA should be seen as a courageous partner and not a panic creating machine in this pandemic.

”It is also untrue that Health Care workers are all infected because they lack Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Apart from the common observation that no category of professionals are spared from COVID, the State Government has provided sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all designated State treatment centres at all levels of care in our public facilities. In addition to that,  the State Government has donated large quantities of complete PPE sets to the Association of General and  Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Tertiary Health care institutions in the State and other high volume facilities. This exercise is still ongoing” he said.

The Rivers State Commissioner for Health further said that the rising number of covid-19 cases is a demonstration of the increased testing capacity in the State with four active PCR machines running at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital dedicated to COVID diagnosis.

He added that the State Government has shown consistent commitment to slowing down the progression of the pandemic despite the security compromise at the borders that led to the importation of more cases of the virus.