International

Nigeria’s Cross River state doctors begin strike

University of Calabar Teaching Hospital management said five people tested positive but the state government refuted

Doctors in Cross River state in southern Nigeria have started an indefinite strike over poor coronavirus management.

It’s the only state in the country where coronavirus cases have not been officially confirmed.

The strike comes days after the chief medical director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Dr Ikpeme Ikpeme, announced that five patients tested positive for Covid-19 in the hospital. But the state government said it was not informed of the cases.

In a letter to the minister of health, the doctors said they are concerned over the handling of suspected Covid-19 cases in the state.

Five tests have been carried out according to the chief medical director of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital but the medical association said the results have not been published.

They believe that the lives of doctors are at risk over the Covid-19 situation in the state.

The state chairman of the doctors’ union, Dr Agam Ayuk, says his members are withdrawing their services until the state government gives urgent attention to the suspected spread of the pandemic in the state.

Reacting to the strike action, the state commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu said the action by the doctors will put millions of lives in the state at risk.

When the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital first raised the alarm over a positive Covid-19 test nearly two weeks ago, the state government dismissed the testing method used.