Growing concerns as scores of Nigerian health workers test COVID-19 positive

* 72 frontline healthcare workers contract virus in Enugu, 8 in Ogun

* 41 health workers infected in Plateau, 8 dead –Commissioner

* There’s need for cooperation of residents in adhering to preventive guidelines for safety ─Plateau Governor Simon Lalong

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnnect

There are growing concerns scores of the Nigerian populace about the recent higher rates at which the frontline healthcare workers are getting infected with the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the country.

ConsumerConnect reports that the Enugu State Ministry of Health Friday, June 26 confirmed that 72 healthcare workers in the state had tested positive for COVID-19.

Likewise, eight members of staff of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, were similarly infected, according to the authorities of the institution.

Mr. Ikechukwu Obi, Honourable Commissioner for Health in Enugu State, stated that 72 health workers are among a total of 202 that have tested positive in the state.

According to Obi, the state has so far recorded 202 cases of which 154 are being treated while 43 cases have been discharged.

Number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 related deaths is five, report said.

It was gathered that of the eight members of staff of the Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta, said to have got infected with Coronavirus in the line of duty in Ogun State, Mr. Segun Orisajo, Head of Public Relations and Information at FMC, disclosed that the affected staff include doctors, nurses and an administration staff of the health institution.

The eight were said to be among a team that recently had contact with a two-and-a-half-year-old Coronavirus patient, who is receiving treatment at the centre’s Isolation ward.

Report indicated that the COVID-19 positive status of the affected staff was discovered during the round of contact tracing conducted by the hospital Infection Control Team.

However, none of them have shown the symptoms of Coronavirus, as they are asymptomatic, stated the report.

They have been asked to proceed on self-isolation and basic treatment commenced for them.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nimkong Lar, Honourable Commissioner for Health, Plateau State,

Plateau has revealed 41 health workers had been infected with COVID-19 in the state, with eight deaths recorded.

Dr. Lar disclosed this at a media briefing in Jos, Plateau State capital, Sunday, June 28 while giving an update on government’s efforts at combating COVID-19 in the state, agency report said.

The state has 330 confirmed cases of the disease out of the 4,076 tests carried out so far, according to the Commissioner.

Lar said: “We have received 3,471 results, with 605 pending. We have 99 in our isolation centres and 37 on home care.”

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Chairman of COVID-19 Task Force in the state, also expressed worries over the increase in the number of Coronavirus cases in the state.

Lalong, represented by Prof. Danladi Atu, Secretary to the task force on COVID-19 in the state, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, said the government was redoubling its enforcement efforts at containing the pandemic across the state.

He said that the enforcement would be concentrated more on the six local government areas with the highest prevalence of the disease.

“Commencing from June 29, the enforcement teams will wage a robust action on defaulters, whether citizens or organisations, particularly in the six local governments, including Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Kanam and Kanke.

“This enforcement will go simultaneously with public education campaign by health educators to further enlighten the citizens on the dangers of the disease and what to do to be protected,” said the governor.

According to him, the enlightenment, which would be in the metropolis and rural areas, was in collaboration with the officials of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) stationed at the grassroots.

However, the exercise is not to stigmatise people living in those local governments, but to contain the disease from spreading further among them, Lalong stressed.

He solicited the cooperation of residents in adhering to preventive guidelines for their safety, urging them to imbibe another pattern of life in consonance with the COVID-19 social behaviour.

Also speaking at the briefing, the state House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Health, Hon. Nanbol Listick, attributed the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases to the attitude and conduct of the residents.

He, however, expressed worries that the closure of boundaries within the affected six local governments, their socio-economic activities and cultural pattern had made them vulnerable.

“We may lockdown some local governments to contain further spread of the disease,” Listick said.

The lawmaker urged Plateau residents to engage health workers to get appropriate enlightenment on the disease to ensure their safety.

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