Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has warned members to stop all physical interviews to prevent being infected by corona virus (COVID-19).
The council also on Sunday appealed to the Federal Government to save the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and provide it with enough funding to cater for the ravaging Coronavirus otherwise known as Covid-19.
The union warned members to be cautious in performing their roles as essential service providers, saying the extent at which the virus was spreading is very alarming.
“Truly, our services are very essential at this period when the world is ravaged by Corona Virus (COVID-19). The public look on to us for information on this global pandemics,” it said.
In a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Sola Oladapo, and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan the Union said “our job leaves us more exposed to the ravaging virus. The rate at which this virus is spreading has become very alarming and it is no respect of anyone.
“As journalists, we must be very careful of how we carry out our duties without being infected,” it said.
It commended members for their services at this trying period, praying that God would continue to protect them from all forms of infections.
The Union also frowned at recent development at the foremost teaching hospital in Nigeria, with confirmed four cases from its board and management.
In a release/tweet the CMD of the Hospital, Abiodun Otegbayo, a professor, explained how he contracted the virus and tested positive for Covid-19.
The hospital management also confirmed that the Provost college of Medicine and his deputy also tested positive.
The fourth is the chairman of the board who had allegedly tested positive for the virus.
The NUJ in a press statement by its Chairman, Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Sola Oladapo wondered why due diligence was not done to ascertain the condition of all attendees at the meeting?
The Union also expressed concern on why the meeting had to hold despite the ongoing efforts to control Covid-19 spread in the state?
According to the NUJ, 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 irresponsible and avoidable.”
The NUJ has therefore called on the Federal Government to stop paying lip service to the hospital.
It tasked the government to devise means of specially funding the UCH to prepare adequately for this pandemic.
“The reason to call for better funding of the UCH stemmed from the recent statement of the CMD, soliciting for funds from well meaning Nigerians to help the hospital with consumables and other medical necessities to fight the virus.
“The Federal Government must act very fast before things snowball out of control,” NUJ warned.