CORONAVIRUS: FEAR GRIPS MEDICAL WORKERS AS UITH, LUTH ISOLATE 40

Olufemi Atoyebi, Kamarudeen Ogundele, Anna Okon, Oladimeji Ramon, Daud Olatunji, Tunde Oyekola, Olaide Oyelude, Godwin Isenyo and Dayo Ojerinde

The Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba and the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital have put no fewer than 40 health workers, including doctors and nurses, in isolation following their contact with people infected with COVID-19.

LUTH’s Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council, Prof Wasiu Adeyemo, on Tuesday told journalists that 12 workers of the health institution had gone into isolation.

According to him, the 12 workers might have had contact with a patient, who  died of COVID-19 at the hospital last week.

At the UITH, 28 health workers are in isolation for coming in contact with an accountant, Muideen Obanimomo that died of COVID-19  in the hospital on Thursday.

The isolation of the UITH and LUTH workers on Tuesday fuelled fear  about lack of protection for health workers treating COVID-19 patients in the country.

The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Francis Faduyile, in a statement to commemorate the World Health Day, on Tuesday expressed  concern about hazards faced by  healthcare professionals, including nurses, treating COVID-19 patients.

Increasing number of health workers in other countries are being infected with the virus. Spain has said at least 4,500 health care workers have tested positive for the disease.  More than 60 doctors have died in Italy.

UITH isolates 28 workers, Kwara traces 75 contacts

On Tuesday, the management of the UITH said  28 staff members of the hospital involved in the treatment of Obanimomo had been in isolation.

The Chief Medical Director of the UITH, Prof. Abdullahi Yussuf, disclosed this  just as the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, said the state government had begun  tracing 75 persons who had contact with Obanimomo  and another deceased.

Yussuff said that about 28 members of staff of the hospital involved in the treatment of Obanimomo were in isolation.

He said, “Already, all the UITH workers with close contact with the deceased patient on the night of his admission, or his corpse have been ordered to proceed on self-isolation. Besides, the ‘A and E’ ward and the ambulance used to convey his corpse to Offa had been promptly fumigated.

“We have contacted the state Technical Committee on COVID-19 to look for those who performed all funeral rites on the corpse and those who had contact with the wife of the deceased including the mourners to keep them in isolation and give them necessary medical treatment.

“Though, we have taken all precautions, including the training of staff and other measures, we were taken aback to discover how a very senior consultant of this hospital had facilitated the admission of a suspected case of COVID-19 at the Accident and Emergency section of the hospital on the night of  Wednesday, April 1, 2020.”

The state governor, in an interview with journalists, said, “Our job is cut out for us and we are definitely not dropping the ball. Contact tracing by the Rapid Response Team of the medical advisory committee has so far netted 75 persons who have had contacts with the cases and the suspected case at the UITH”