The Labour/Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19 in Enugu State has expressed fears over another possible lockdown due to the rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
The group stated this on Friday in Enugu North Local Government area during its ongoing awareness visits to all the 17 council areas in the state.
The Chairman, Technical Committee of the group, Mr. Ezekiel Omeh, expressed worries over the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the state, saying that it could trigger another lockdown.
Omeh, who is the chairman of National Association of Nurses and Midwives in the state, said that residents of the state seemed to have taken the ease of the lockdown for granted.
He appealed to the people of the state to take responsibility for their actions and keep to all the safety protocols recommended by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
“There is great danger with the way the virus is spreading in the state, and there are chances that COVID-19 will stay with us longer than expected, if we continue the way we are going.
“We are now witnessing community transmission in the state and everybody is a suspect. We should avoid another round of lockdown by keeping safe.
“We are going round to encourage our leaders in the local government areas to take responsibility because the problem we have is non-compliance with safety guidelines,” Omeh said.
The Primary Health Care (PHC) Coordinator in the council, Mr Callistus Eneh, however, said that health workers in the various councils were not motivated due to non-payment of their hazard allowance.
Eneh said that while their colleagues at the state level had received their allowances, theirs had yet to be paid.
He said that as part of the frontline workers in the COVID-19 regime, it was unfair not to give them their dues.
Eneh said that the ‘ill-treatment’ had killed the morale of PHC workers in the local government councils.
According to him, the PHC workers had been moving round the rural communities in the state to create awareness about the scourge.
Responding, the Deputy Chairman, Enugu North Local Government council, Mr Ambrose Ozougwu, said that the council had been doing its best to contain the spread of the scourge.
Ozougwu said that the state government had been helpful by providing them with the needed assistance, including palliatives.
He said that the council had set up a COVID-19 taskforce to ensure compliance with safety regulations.
Mr. Kenneth Ugwueze, the President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Enugu chapter, said that government had already initiated the process that would lead to the payment of hazard allowances to the PHC workers. (NAN)