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 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”
He also expressed disappointment about Prof. Alakija Kazeem Salami, who concealed Obanimomo’s status.
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.