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Masks to be mandatory again in parliament for staff but not MPs

masks

Masks to be mandatory again in parliament for staff but not MPs

Masks are being made mandatory again for all parliamentary staffers – but not MPs – amid concern over the recent rise in Covid cases and the safety of workers in the Palace of Westminster.

It is the first reintroduction of measures by the parliamentary authorities since restrictions were relaxed over the summer. Those who refuse to wear a face covering will be told they must leave the estate.

New guidance was issued on Tuesday in advance of Rishi Sunak’s budget speech on Wednesday. It said that “all face-to-face meetings with colleagues should be avoided, unless there is a business need” and people should “space out and avoid sitting directly opposite each other in working areas [to] avoid close contact at all times”.

However, MPs cannot be forced to follow the same rules, so those who choose to continue following the law rather than the advice are free to do so.

Many Conservatives have been seen recently packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the Commons chamber, while Labour MPs have made a point of wearing masks.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader, last week appeared to joke that his party’s “convivial, fraternal spirit” meant they were acting in line with the government’s Covid guidance.

It came after Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said politicians have a responsibility to set an example in the battle against Covid, including wearing masks in crowded spaces.

Tory MPs have since been told by senior party figures to wear masks for Wednesday’s budget as it will be watched by thousands of people, and ministers have realised they need to set a better example to encourage mask-wearing.

A memo sent to parliamentary staffers and contractors said the change was “due to recent increases in Covid-19 across the country, which are also being reflected in parliament” and added “we are aware some of this guidance alters changes only recently agreed” but that the situation was “highly fluid”. It will be reviewed on 4 November.

A staffer said of the rule change not applying to MPs: “It’s ridiculous that they’re being exempted from steps which will keep us all safe.”

Another one called it “utterly absurd”.

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Health

12 State Governors Owing Us, Health Workers Cry Out

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria MHWUN, has cried out that governors of 12 states of Nigeria are unfair to their members by owing them several years of salary arrears and also failed to standardise their payments .

The medical body noted that the worst of it all is that these governors have failed to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage that has become a law in the country.

They said the governors have subjected them to harrowing life.

The MHWUN National Vice President , Femi Adebisi stated this in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital at the weekend during the 2022 international youth day organized by the South West leadership of the union, under the theme , ‘Intergenerational solidarity : creating a world for all ages.’

Adebisi said the welfare of health workers remains the only recipe to the recurrent brain drain crippling the health sector.

He however, did not identify the affected 12 states.

“We have nothing less than 12 states that are owing health workers their entitlements.We are engaging them as a union and we are hoping the governors and everyone concern will do the needful soon”, he stated.

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Health

Pay Hazard Allowance To Health Workers, NLC Urges F.G

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, has urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the payment of hazard allowance to health workers in the country.

Wabba made the call at the 2022 annual Federal Capital Territory Nurses Week/Scientific Workshop of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives on Thursday in Abuja.

At the workshop with the theme, “Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health,” Wabba said the allowance has been reviewed but payment is yet to begin.

“Many health workers have fallen victim to diseases in taking care of patients. I salute the nurses and Midwives, your reward is not only in heaven but here on earth. I urge you to learn so you can discharge quality healthcare service to Nigerians.

“The payment of hazard allowance will boost the morale of our health workers in the country”, he added.

 

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Health

Cholera Outbreak Kills 10 In Gombe

Gombe state government has declared an outbreak of cholera after ten deaths were recorded across the state.

This was made public by Habu Dahiru, Gombe commissioner for health,  on Thursday.

Dahiru, who was represented by Abdulrahman Shuaibu, executive secretary of the Gombe Primary Health Care Development Agency, said as of September 20, 236 cases of cholera had been recorded in the state.

“This year, from June, we had sporadic cases of cholera in Balanga LGA and because of the preparedness and prompt response; it has been largely subdued without escalation,” he said.

These outbreaks are recorded in eight wards across Balanga, Yamaltu-Deba, Nafada, Funakaye and Gombe LGA of the state.

“The state ministry of health has promptly initiated public health actions for prevention and control of the disease.

“As of September 20, there was an increase in the number of cases in Gombe state as 236 cases have been listed so far.”

The commissioner said increased downpour of rain and flooding in many parts of the state led to the cholera outbreak.

He said decontamination of wells and boreholes in affected communities would be carried out and distribution of water treatment tablets in all affected communities would be conducted.

 

 

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