By Enaibo Asiayei
Members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba, Delta State, on Thursday night withdrew their services indefinitely over alleged harassment by security operatives enforcing lockdown directive.
The lockdown order was issued by the state government April 1 as a measure to prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus disease otherwise known as COVID-19.
President of the ARD, Asaba FMC chapter, Osifo Patrick Nwabunor told Daily lndependent Newspapers that since the lockdown started on April 1, health workers have been witnessing constant harassment allegedly by the police even when they present valid means of identification as essential service providers.
Nwabunor alleged that the harassment came to a climax on Thursday when a doctor who was rushing to Okpanam for an emergency, was stopped and harassed, adding that when other colleagues came to his rescue, they were allegedly sprayed with teargas.
He said as a result of the constant harassment, the doctors were embarking on “total shutdown of their services indefinitely until our safety and security is guaranteed.”
Nwabunor stated that the association was not callous to embark on the indefinite strike in this trying period of COVID-19 crisis, but that they cannot continue to discharge their life saving functions in an environment of constant threats and insecurity.
“These are challenging times in view of the COVID-19 but if our safety is not guaranteed, we will maintain the total shutdown,” he stated.