The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association(NMA), Akwa Ibom State Branch, Dr Nsikak Paul Nyoyoko, has condoled its members over the demise of their colleague, Dr Dominic Essien, suspected to have died of COVID-19.

Until his demise yesterday afternoon, Dr Dominic Essien was the Chief Medical Director of San Dominique Hospital, Ewet Housing Estate, a Physiotherapist and Lecturer in the Department of Physiology, University of Uyo.

In a statement signed by the Chairman and made available to newsmen, Nyoyoko noted that the revered medical practitioner gave up the ghost at the Ibom Specialist Hospital where he was rushed to after experiencing shortness of breath, a severe sign of COVID-19.

He added that Essien was sick with a week history of fever and cough, intimating that the deceased was yet to be confirmed positive for COVID-19 as his blood sample was taken, awaiting transportation to the laboratory for test.

He advised all members of the professional body to remain calm and to observe all precautionary measures against the dreaded virus.

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Nyoyoko further urged members to serve as their brother’s keeper in this trying moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The release read, “Dear Colleagues,as you’ve noticed in recent days, I send daily personal morning messages to check on all members I have on my contact list. This is to know if there’s a reason to be worried about any of us.

“Today, we all have a reason to be sad. I was called last night by a colleague who intimated me that one of our colleagues was sick with a week history of fever,cough and shortness of breath which worsened yesterday with his SPO2 as low as 72%, requiring him to be placed on oxygen at his clinic.

“I immediately called upon a member of the State COVID-19 Response Team to swing into action and somehow, later last night, our colleague was admitted into ISH and managed by specialists in respiratory medicine.
With the sympoms elucidated above, a suspicion of COVID-19 was entertained and he had his sample taken today awaiting transportation to the laboratory for COVID-19 testing.

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“Unfortunately, this revered Colleague of ours died mid afternoon today.
Details of the case management are still sketchy as attempts to reach members of the incident Management Committee (IMC) were unsuccessful as they were out for a meeting.

“Dr Dominic Essien was a revered Colleague of many parts. He was a renowned Private Practitioner, a Physiotherapist and a Lecturer in the Department of Physiology, University of Uyo.

“We have just lost a Friend, Colleague and a brother. Its been a sad day for us at NMA Akwa Ibom State but be rest assured that the lessons learnt from this tragic event would not pass in vain.

“I want to urge all our members to remain calm, stay safe and please reach out to a colleague or the Association when in need of help.”