The Nigeria’s Ministry of Health on Thursday, announced that 113 health workers had been infected with COVID 19.
Disclosing this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 press briefing in Abuja, the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said they included workers in the public and private health facilities in the country.
Following the shocking revelation, Ehanire restated his advice to health workers that it was dangerous to treat coronavirus patients without using personal protective equipment.
THE DAILY VENDOR recalls that the minister had, at the press briefing in Abuja on April 23, confirmed that about 40 health workers had been infected with coronavirus. He lauded health workers for their commitment to the war against the pandemic, while warning them against treating patients without the PPE, he also raised concern that health workers need to undergo refresher training.
He said, “Please, do not treat any patient without using the PPE. Frontline health workers must undertake refresher training at intervals. This warning has become necessary due to the number of health workers, who have tested positive for COVID 19. They are over 40 now and they have been quarantined.”
The Nigerian Medical Association, through its National President, Dr Francis Faduyile, in its reaction explained that most of the health workers who contracted virus were not among those treating COVID 19 patients, but personnel in other hospitals.
But in the latest press briefing on Thursday, the health minister said the risk of being infected with COVID 19 was the reason why the task force warned health workers against treating patients without using the PPE.
Ehanire said, “The latest figure we have is that 113 health workers have been infected. They are not all public health workers. There are some from private hospitals.
“If you hear us speak frequently against treating coronavirus in private clinics, we are actually referring to people who do so without precaution and training. They risk infecting themselves and their families. Health care workers with no training have no business handling coronavirus.
“As for those who do not have equipment, we have said that we will provide protective equipment. Let me remind you that there is a global shortage. They (the pieces of equipment) are really scarce but we are doing what we can to make sure our frontline workers have the requirement. We also have a stockpile that we can send quickly. For example, we sent a stockpile to Kano.”
The minister also advised infected persons to come forward and get help early enough, noting that the country would be in a difficult position if infected persons continued to hide or seek alternative treatment instead of approaching government.
“People should come out and seek treatment, not to hide. The ones that we worry most about are the people who hide and look for alternative treatment. They are lost to our counting.”