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COVID-19: Resident doctors to begin indefinite strike June 15

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THE National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has reaffirmed its decision to embark on an indefinite strike if the Federal Government failed to address demands of its members within 14 days.

This is coming at a time Nigeria grapples with increasing cases of confirmed COVID-19 and attendant deaths.

According to Dr Aliyu Sokomba, National President of NARD, the strike would start from Monday, June 15, regardless of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter with reference number NARD/SG/2019-2020/070620/246, which was also shared through the Association’s official Twitter handle on Monday, parts of its demands included that the Federal and state governments should ensure access to appropriate personal protective equipment for all health care workers.

It also demanded for the immediate reversal of the illegitimate disengagement of all 26 resident doctors at the Jos University Teaching hospital, saying that payment of all salaries owed to them in accordance with the Medical Residency training Act must also be effected.

The Association called for immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance.

It asked the Federal Government to caution security operatives to desist from the harassment and assault of its members in the line of duty.

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It will be recalled that the association had issued a the 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government which took effect from May 30 having tabled its demands before the government.

The resident doctors’Association said failure from by government to meet its demands will amount to a total and indefinite strike nationwide.

“The strike shall, therefore, be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 treatment centres shall be exempted and members including all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of principal medical officer, and house officers are expected to be part of the strike,” the letter read in part.

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Abeeb Alawiye formerly works with The ICIR as a Reporter/Social Media officer. Now work as a Senior Journalist with BBC News Yoruba. You can shoot him an email via Abeeb.alawiye@bbc.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @habsonfloww

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