Doctors, nurses, others ordered to proceed on self isolation as university hospital cleaner contracts COVID-19

Posted by News Express | 22 July 2020 | 2,952 times

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Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital



Anxiety has taken over Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, Anambra State, following the contracting of Coronavirus (COVID-19) by a female cleaner in the hospital (names withheld).

It was gathered that she started showing symptoms of the deadly virus after six days of being admitted in the Accident and Emergency Ward (A/E) of the hospital following an accident.

According to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the result of the COVID-19 test conducted on her specimen came out positive.

The source said: “Doctors, nurses and other staff who had contact with the patient have been directed by the hospital management to embark on self isolation.

“We are worried; the members of staff who were directed to go on self isolation are still seen in the hospital premises and there has not been any concrete effort from the management to trace all the people who had contact with the patient before her COVID-19 result status was released.”

Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr Joseph Ugboaja, said that the patient, a known cardiac disease patient, was being managed initially for a cardiac problem, but had to be tested for COVID-19, so as not to leave anything to chance as her symptoms were basically related to her known cardiac problem.

He said her test result for COVID-19 came out positive on Monday, adding that the management has done the needful according to standard guidelines and NCDC protocols.

While saying that the staff member has been moved to the Isolation Centre following availability of space, Ugboaja said that staff members who had significant contact with the patient have proceeded on self Isolation and are being followed up.

He added: “The space occupied by the patient in the ward has been appropriately decontaminated; patient is receiving appropriate care at the Isolation Centre and the state epidemiology office has been informed.

“Note that this is neither the first time we are managing successfully, patient with COVID-19 nor asking our staff members to proceed on self isolation.

“In fact, for the months of May, June and July, we’ve had 25 admissions in the Isolation Centre and some of them were COVID-19 positive. We have collected, transported and reported the result of about 150 samples collected from patients and their contacts. These are the efforts of the members of the Taskforce on COVID-19 especially the Isolation unit staffers.

“As the pandemic is still raging, we will continue to receive and manage these cases. We can’t turn our back on them, even as our lives are put on the line, it’s our call as healthcare workers. What we need is support in terms of the necessary Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), especially the N-95 face masks, the PPE gowns and the hand gloves.”

Ugboaja, who is also the Chairman, Taskforce on COVID-19, hailed the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Igwegbe AO, for the good work he has done at ensuring the availability of PPEs saying that he deserve a lot of commendation.

He however lamented that the hospital is being overwhelmed by the pressure of number of cases presented for management owing to the on-going community spread.

The CMAC appealed to public spirited individuals to come to the hospital’s aid with donation of PPEs, even as he regretted that very soon the institution may not be able to assist people affected with the virus.

He added: “The last COVID-19 case we managed consumed about 200 pieces of both the gown and the N-95 face masks. Currently, a standard PPE gown goes for between N7,000- N12,000 while the N-95 sells for between N2,500 to N6,000.

“We need assistance and we need it urgently as the infection rate is increasing in Anambra State, 14 new cases reported today and Nnewi has been noted as one of the flash points.

“Leaving this huge responsibility to the Teaching hospital is not sustainable and if we allow the hospital to get overwhelmed, then all of us are in trouble. So key stakeholders have to rise to the occasion now and donate materials to the hospital so that the healthcare workers, (HCW) will continue looking after the patients. We can’t afford to expose the HCW unduly in their line of duty. They are already putting their lives online; we can’t afford to compromise their safety further.

“There is no cause for alarm. All we need from the public is support in terms of the materials we need to work with, their prayers and good will to tackle this pandemic. The management and taskforce are doing their optimal best. What remains, is the complementary efforts from the stakeholders. We remain grateful to the State Government and the Anambra Progressives for their assistance so far.”

Ugboaja also commended the hospital’s front line staff who have continuously put their lives on the line to ensure that every other person is protected.

Source: News Express

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