…Says people may have to live with it like HIV/AIDS, others
…Demands percentage of salary as hazard allowance
…Urges Deltans to comply with stay at home order
By Festus Ahon
DELTA State branch of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, said weekend that it might be difficult to completely defeat the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, noting that people may have to live with it like other viruses such as HIV/AIDS.
Briefing newsmen in Asaba, yesterday, chairman of the NMA in the state, Dr Ekeneam Omo, expressed hope that a vaccine would soon be produced to boost people’s immunity against the dreaded virus that would make them adapt to it.
On what was being used to treat patients with the virus, Omo said chloroquine was one of the drugs being administered on the patients, urging the state government to sustain the temple by doing more in terms of improving existing facilities and continuous provision of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, to healthcare personnel.
He asked that percentage of consolidated basic salary be paid as hazard allowance to doctors and other health workers taking care of COVID-19 patients.
The Delta NMA boss also asked the state government to provide hospitals with facemasks, gloves, face shields, goggles, aprons, and Hazmat suit.
Omo also asked for the institution of compensation package for all doctors and healthcare workers, who die or suffer disability from attending to patients suffering from COVID-19 infection, which could be in the form of life or disability insurance.
He said: “We need tax relief on earned allowances for all healthcare workers as a morale booster to continue to take the risks associated with working in this pandemic period. There should also be special allowances for volunteer healthcare workers at the case management centre throughout the duration of their stay at the centres.
“We urge the state government to put measures in place to contain the spread and prevent a second surge of COVID-19 virus after the lockdown period.”
He pledged the continued cooperation of doctors and other health workers for the state government to ensure services were unhindered,
Lamenting that 25 doctors were currently being isolated at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, Omo decried the fact that three doctors had been lost to the virus in the country, including a corps member.
While commending the state government for the facilities put on ground to take care of index cases, Omo thanked the government for its proactive step to prevent the outbreak or contain the spread of the virus in the state by closing all entry borders.