The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council, on Sunday, appealed to the Federal Government to save the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan by providing it with enough funds to tackle Coronavirus.
The appeal was contained in a statement jointly signed by the state NUJ Chairman, Ademola Babalola, and Secretary, Sola Oladapo.
The union frowned at the recent development at the foremost teaching hospital in Nigeria, with four confirmed cases of COVID-19 from members of its board and management.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chief Medical Director of the institution, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo, had, through his Twitter handle, disclosed that he tested positive for Coronavirus and explained how he contracted the virus.
NAN also reports that the hospital management equally confirmed that the Provost, College of Medicine and his deputy tested positive, while one other person was said to have also contracted the disease.
Otegbayo had, in a statement personally signed by him on Sunday, said a 12-man quarterly meeting of the health institution’s board had commenced on March 23, adding that social distancing and other precautionary measures for COVID-19 were observed.
The NUJ, however, wondered whether due diligence was actually done to ascertain the condition of all attendees at the said meeting.
It expressed concern on why the meeting had to hold despite the ongoing efforts to control the spread of the virus in the state.
According to the union: “The CMD, despite his knowledge of his exposure to a suspected case, still went ahead granting interviews to journalists without warning them of his vulnerability. The union viewed this act as avoidable.”
It called on the Federal Government to devise means of specially funding the UCH to prepare it adequately for the containment of the pandemic.
It said: “The reason to call for better funding of UCH stems from the recent statement by the CMD, soliciting for funds from well meaning Nigerians to help the institution with consumables and other medical necessities to fight the virus.
“The Federal Government must act fast before things get out of control.”