Following the surge in the cases of COVID-19 in Ondo State, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, a Former presidential aspirant, has called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to immediately convene a meeting with the members of the medical association in the state in order to resolve the demands of the striking doctors in the public hospitals.
Dr. Ikubese said the state was gradually becoming an hotbed for the ravaging pandemic with increased in reported cases adding that medical doctors and health professionals fallen victims of the virus due to lack of protective equipments.
Doctors in the state under the aegis of the Residents Doctors Association of Nigeria had last month commenced an indefinite strike over their exposure to COVID-19 and the neglect of their welfare by the government.
For similar reasons, doctors under the aegis of the National Association of Government General Medical & Dental Practitioners also joined the strike and withdrew their services at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Akure.
They complained at the inadequate provision of personal protective equipment, which has resulted to some of their colleagues contracting COVID-19.
Speaking in a letter written to Governor Akeredolu in Akure over the alarming cases of Coronavirus in the state, Dr. Ikubese said the current measures put in place by the state government was no longer working and called for a
review in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Ikubese who explained the need to site at least one Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in each of the three Senatorial districts in the state said the government need to be proactive in curtailing the spread of the virus.
He added that the 12-bedded Infectious Disease Hospital located in Akure has already been overstretched by several Covid-19 cases while the cases keep increasing.
“Ondo State had very few cases of confirmed Covid-19 until the lockdown was eased a few days ago with places of worship opened while people went about their daily activities as if Ondo state is immune from the virus.
“Even the doctors at the hitherto very busy and critical Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) have recently down tools, citing non-provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), non-payment of the Covid-19 allowance, non-payment of the agreed minimum wage, non-provision of Insurance for the front line workers among others.
“Convening an urgent meeting with the leadership of the Ondo State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, resolving the knotty issues raised as to getting the doctors to resume back to their duties urgently is of utmost importance at this time, to avert even greater calamities ahead.
“Your Excellency, it has become expedient for you to call an urgent stakeholders’ meeting to review the current Covid-19 pandemic in the state as these current measures are obviously not working”.
“Urgently citing one Infectious Disease Hospital in each of the three Senatorial districts of Ondo state will be needed at this time, instead of conveying patients to Akure from every nook and cranny of the state”.
While commiserating with the families of those who had lost their loved to COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Ikubese urged the governor to act quickly to avert more calamities.
“Your Excellency, as a politician, expectedly winning the election for your second term in office is top on your agenda at the moment. Yet, I appeal that this should not relegate your commitment to winning the war against Covid-19, which is currently ravaging the state.
“Many other relatively unknown and probably undocumented persons are dying of Covid-19 in the state. It only becomes news, if the dead person is in the upper social class”.
According to the data from the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control, Ondo state now has 716 confirmed cases of the virus with 128 patients already discharged and 21 death recorded.