Coronavirus: Government not doing enough to protect frontline health workers, says ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday said that governments at all levels in Nigeria are not doing enough to protect the lives of frontline health workers involved in fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Professor Ayo Akinwole disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Akinwole, who noted that some members of the union have been playing major roles in the fight against COVID-19 nationwide, however, lamented that the government was not doing enough to protect frontline health workers from being infected.

He said that in its bid to curtail the spread of the pandemic, the union at the university had produced no fewer than 3,000 reusable face masks for distribution to her members.

He stated that it was important that members had access to face masks that are produced following international standards.

Akinwole disclosed that the ASUU-UI, as a union of intellectuals, would not allow her members to purchase and use masks freely sold on the streets as the majority of them failed to follow international standards of producing face masks.

Chairman ASUU committee, Dr Dapo Okareh who stated that the committee utilised cotton fabric, absorbent, cellofilter, organofilter, liner, pearls and other materials, noted that it was better to use face masks than a ventilator.

According to him, it took the committee about 17 days from conception, design to have the final products using the expertise within the Union.

“About a month ago, we produced hand sanitisers for frontline workers, including our members who are in various committees fighting COVID-19 nationwide.

“We are challenged that facemasks are becoming expensive and different types of local face masks which have not followed international standards are seen on the streets being sold to people.

“This is why we have decided to produce this using our expertise and following international procedure and we shall distribute them to our members who live in various communities to protect them and prevent them from community transmission of COVID-19 when they are in the public. We urge the government to do more to protect frontline workers because the government is not doing enough at the moment,” he stated.

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