COVID-19: 14 health workers isolated in Abuja after patients test positive

At least 10 doctors and nurses working at the Gwarinpa General Hospital, Abuja, have been asked to go into self-isolation after a patient who was being prepped for surgery tested positive for COVID-19.

This is just as four doctors in Wuse District Hospital have also gone into isolation following exposure to two Covid-19 patients in the hospital, the Association of Resident Doctors has said.

It was learnt that the patient at the Gwarinpa hospital had been admitted for intestinal obstruction and was to be wheeled into the theatre last Thursday.

During his admission at the hospital, about 10 doctors and nurses on duty had contact with the patient “directly or indirectly”.

However, before the surgery could begin, he was said to have started coughing profusely thereby causing a scare among health workers.

A health worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “A patient visited our hospital last week and he was examined by a doctor. He was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction and was placed on admission pending a surgical operation. He was given drugs and fluid.

“He was supposed to do the surgery on Thursday but he started coughing profusely so we began to have suspicions. He was questioned about his health status and then he revealed later that his brother had just tested positive for COVID-19.

“He was isolated at the ward and a COVID-19 test was administered on him. The next day, his test came back positive. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has evacuated him while the hospital has been decontaminated.”

The official said that the hospital management asked about 10 doctors and nurses to go into self-isolation.

“The management has asked us to go into self-isolation. We will be tested later in the week,” she said.

The health official said that public hospitals are not being carried along in the Federal Government’s COVID-19 response plan.

She said they had been attending to patients without Personal Protection Equipment until last week.

The official said there had been no form of training for doctors at the hospital except the usual advisory.

“Before last week, we had less than 10 PPE for the entire hospital. It was last week that we were given many. So, health officials have been vulnerable.

“As it is, we cannot even attend to emergencies during this pandemic. If an accident victim is bleeding, we have to wear our PPE before attending to him or her,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Association of Resident Doctors, FCT, says four of its doctors in Wuse District Hospital have also gone into self-isolation after exposure to two COVID-19 patients.

This is contained in a communiqué issued after a virtual council meeting on May 7, 2020, and signed by the General Secretary of ARDFCTA, Dr. Mustapha Ibrahim.

It read in part, “There is an established community transmission of COVID 19 in the FCT with four of our members already exposed following the confirmation of two cases at Wuse District Hospital.

“Despite Management’s assertion of provision of adequate PPEs across all the general hospitals, it was noted by council that some of this PPEs are still been hoarded by some units as members do not readily access these apparels when attending to suspected cases.

“Exposed members are subjected to a lot of psychological trauma during this period of self-isolation.”

The acting General Manager,  Hospital Services, FCT, Frank Alu, neither responded to phone calls nor a text message as of press time.

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