…As NCDC reports 160 new COVID-19 infections, 2 deaths***
Health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) are to begin a nationwide strike from midnight on Sunday.
The strike is over Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands.
The JOHESU President, Mr Josiah Biobelemoye, made this known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.
The workers had issued a notice to the government, saying that it would embark on a nationwide strike, if their demands were not met.
JOHESU’s demands include addressing of structural and infrastructural decay in the nation’s health sector and review of the implementation of COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance.
Ngige had on Friday called for a conciliatory meeting between the Federal Government and JOHESU.
The government directed that in view of the understanding reached at the meeting, JOHESU should consult with its members and report back to the government on Sept. 12.
Biobelemoye said on Sunday that the outcome of the meeting between the joint unions and the government was reported back to the unions’ expanded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Saturday.
He said that it was unanimously agreed that nothing concrete was achieved at the meeting with the government, and the strike notice was, therefore, germane.
“Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists, and with effect from midnight of Sept. 13, 2020, our members shall withdraw their services due to the government’s inability to meet their demands.
“Kindly accept the assurances of our high esteem,” he said.
The health workers had in a letter dated Aug. 30 and addressed to the Federal Ministry of Health, issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet their demands.
In another development, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 160 new infections of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the nation’s confirmed cases to 56,177.
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Saturday.
The 160 new infections were down slightly from 188 recorded on Friday in the country.
The agency said that in the last 24 hours, two people died from the virus, bringing the death toll nationwide to 1,078.
The NCDC stated that the number of recovered patients increased by 90, bringing total number of discharged cases to 44,088.
“As of Sept. 12, 2020, 160 new confirmed cases and two deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
“Till date, 56,177 cases have been confirmed, 44,088 cases discharged and 1,078 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT),” it said.
The NCDC stated that the 160 new cases were reported from 13 states.
The public health agency said that of the new infections, FCT and Plateau recorded 39 each, while 30 in Lagos.
Amongst others are Kaduna (23), Katsina (7), Rivers (6), Oyo (6), Yobe (3), Benue (3), Bayelsa (1), Abia (1), Edo (1) and Ekiti (1).
NCDC said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, have continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It noted that scaling up testing was key in the country’s COVID-19 response, to enable timely isolation and treatment of cases.
Meanwhile, the agency said that data had shown that three out of every five Nigerians who died from COVID-19 were more than 50 years old.
“Do all you can to protect yourself, parents and older relatives; wear a face mask in public, practice hand/respiratory hygiene and maintain physical distance,” it advised.