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Health workers to get 50% of basic salary as hazard allowance

The Federal Government has announced that a special COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance of 50 percent of Consolidated Basic Salary will be paid to all…

The Federal Government has announced that a special COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance of 50 percent of Consolidated Basic Salary will be paid to all health workers in teaching hospitals, federal medical centres and designated COVID-19 centres for the first three months in the first instance.

The Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, announced this on Monday in Abuja at the 20th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said 40 percent of the Consolidated Basic Salary would be paid as Special COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance to health workers at special non-public hospitals and clinics in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies for a three-month period in the first instance.

“20 percent of Consolidated Basic Salary will be paid as Special Risk Allowance additionally on the Special COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance, to all Health Workers directly managing COVID-19 at Infectious Diseases Hospitals, Isolation and Treatment Centres.

“10 percent of Consolidated Basic Salary will be paid to non-core medical professionals working in health sector and operating at aforementioned hospitals and clinics, as special COVID-19 allowance, for three months in the first instance,” Mamora said.

He said the non-compliance to the directive on lockdown was responsible for the increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.

He said: “The unauthorized treatment of highly contagious COVID-19 patients in private homes or unaccredited health facilities with the risk of infecting their families, other patients, visitors and health workers. These factors necessitated the active case finding strategy with the house to house and cluster testing which has contributed to increased case detection.”

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, explained that Kano State recorded a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within days because of its densely populated nature.

“I’ll like to remind everyone that during a pandemic, the risk of spread is in those towns where the population density is highest. We’re all aware of the population density in Kano. The high number of cases we are now seeing in Kano is really not a surprise,” he said.

Ihekweazu said the team did everything possible to immediately activate the Kano laboratory, but that sometimes speed also has consequences.

He said: “So we had to pause and shut the lab for the safety of workers at the laboratory. The laboratory, which is domiciled at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and will be attending to cases from many northern states, will start testing samples today (Monday).

“I’m happy to announce that the Kano lab will start working this afternoon and start testing samples again as it should be. This has not been an easy effort by any stretch of imagination. It has taken the collective effort of my team, the laboratory scientists in Kano and many people that have quietly worked on this to make it happen. We’ll not stop until the laboratory is fully functional again.”

The NCDC boss noted that there were concerns about the happenings in Kano and efforts were being made to address the issues.

He added: “We want to address the Kano issue headlong. We’re very concerned about what is happening in the state. But there is no magic bullet. We’ll continue to work hard.”