ANKARA

Nigerian healthcare workers on Monday ended a week-long strike protesting their working conditions during the novel coronavirus pandemic, after reaching a deal with the government, local media reported Tuesday.

Healthcare workers have resumed their duties nationwide after the government released 4.6 billion Nigerian nairas ($11.9 million) to pay the hazard allowance of 55,031 healthcare workers in 35 coronavirus designated hospitals and medical centers, according to the Leadership local news website.

The government also assured Nigerian doctors and other healthcare workers that it would protect their rights, the report said.

“After the 14-day ultimatum was issued, negotiations were immediately opened with the Association, and were facilitated by the Health Committees of the National Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and, of course, the minister of Labour and Employment,” Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed was quoted as telling reporters in Abuja.

“We are also aware of the challenges confronting health workers in carrying out their duties, especially the provision of the PPE [personal protective equipment]. But I make bold to say that the federal government has done everything possible to procure PPE and make such available to our health workers,” he was quoted as adding.

The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) last Monday started their indefinite strike, demanding the government to make “alternative arrangements” for patient care.

Among the doctors’ complaints were inadequate PPE for all healthcare workers, reversal of the disengagement of 26 resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital and the payment of their salaries.

The West African country has confirmed 20,244 coronavirus cases, with 518 death and 6,879 recoveries, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

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