Following the surge in 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 members of the medical association in the state in order to resolve the demands of striking doctors in public hospitals.
Ikubese said the state was gradually becoming a hotbed for Coronavirus with daily increases in reported cases.
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 National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners also joined the strike and withdrew their services from the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Akure, the state capital.
Speaking in a letter to Governor Akeredolu over the rising cases of Coronavirus in the state, Ikubese said current measures put in place by the state government were no longer working and therefore called for a review in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
He said, "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 was immune to the virus.
"Even doctors at the Infectious Disease Hospital have recently gone on strike, citing non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment, non-payment of the COVID-19 allowance, non-payment of the agreed minimum wage, non-provision of insurance for the frontline 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.
"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."
Ikubese called on the government to site at least one infectious disease hospital in each of the three senatorial districts in the state to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.
According to 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 deaths recorded.