Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano has warned health workers against being hostile to patients suspected to have Covid-19 symptoms.
He said such attitudes were not acceptable in the state, stressing that it would discourage possible Covid-19 patients from walking willingly into hospitals to reveal their condition.
Speaking on Monday during a special Broadcast on Covid-19, Obiano said he was mindful of the efforts of the health workers who handled the Index Case as well as the two newly discharged cases, assuring them of rewards, The DAILY VENDOR reports.
He said, “It has come to our knowledge that some health workers turn automatically hostile to patients who they suspect of having Covid-19 symptoms.
“This is not acceptable in Anambra State. We cannot encourage any attitude that will discourage possible Covid-19 patients from walking willingly into hospitals to reveal their condition.
“I fully recognize the overriding importance of our healthcare workers who are on the frontline of the battle against this pandemic. It is on record that I generously acknowledged the efforts of the health workers who handled our Index Case and our two newly discharged cases here and assured them of some rewards.
“So, we deeply appreciate our healthcare workers but we must also discourage any negative attitude from them where it exists. It is on this note that I wish to appeal for a better understanding and empathy from our healthcare workers and urge them to keep to their professional oath.”
The governor further advised management of all hospitals in the State to create an Isolation Room where any patient whose sample has been taken for Covid-19 testing can be kept while the result of the test is awaited.
“If a patient who is suspected of Covid-19 is placed in an isolation ward, it reduces the pressure we have to contend with in the volume of contact tracing that arises from allowing a suspected patient to roam freely. We expect all hospitals in Anambra State to comply with this directive with immediate effect,” he stated.
While allaying fears over increasing cases of the virus in the state, Obiano revealed extra measures his administration had taken towards fighting the scourge.
“As you are well aware, long before we recorded our Covid-19 Index Case on April 9, 2020, we had made some commendable arrangements that would give us a fighting chance against this pandemic.
“We have put together a 428-bed Protective Care Center to absorb Covid-19 cases and nurse them back to good health. We have made elaborate arrangements to fight this pandemic…we have fumigated all the 63 markets in Anambra State and distributed palliative materials to segments of our society.
“We have also continued to emphasize the strict adherence to all the Covid-19 protocol which includes heavy use of nose masks, frequent washing of hands, regular use of hand-sanitizer and maintenance of social distancing.
“Out of the many tests we have conducted so far, we have recorded 9 positive Covid-19 cases. Four of these cases are currently in our Protective Care Center. One of the cases was accompanying a corpse from Lagos to Imo State when his sample was captured in Anambra for testing.
“He has since returned to Lagos and we have communicated the appropriate authorities about his whereabouts. Three of the cases have been discharged and only one case has passed on. Ndi Anambra it is important to explain here that the only Covid-19 death we have recorded so far was a 66-year old man who did not report his ill-health on time.
“His case was reported late to the hospital and by the time his result came back positive, 24 hours later, he had passed away. Ndi Anambra, there is a possibility that his case would have been managed well if our Team had been alerted on time. I urge you to cooperate with our efforts to protect lives.
“People who hide their medical conditions run a high risk of dying from Covid-19. Please, let us bear this in mind!”
Acccording to Obiano, “the rise in the reported cases of Covid-19 in Anambra State is as a result of the Aggressive Case Search mounted by the Special Task Force on Covid-19, headed by my humble self.
“Following the success of the Task Force at the state level, we have since extended our activities to the 326 wards in Anambra State for a more aggressive campaign against the pandemic.
He listed membership of the Task Force at the community level to includes the Officer-in-Charge of Primary Healthcare Center, the Community Woman Leader, the Community Youth Leader, the Representative of the Ministry of Health and the Representative of the Civil Society.
“The Team shall be headed by the Councilor of the Ward but the Local Government Chairman and his Medical Team shall supervise the activities of the entire Team. Ndi Anambra, I have no doubt that this structure will help us to ramp up more tests in the various communities and weed out the virus from the populace.
“We shall continue to innovate and seek new creative responses to Covid-19 as time goes on.
“We have decided to set up a Case Medication Team. This Team is made up of seasoned medical practitioners and public health officers who will deliberate and decide the best medical approaches to adopt on a case-by-case basis.
“Ndi Anambra, we have done well so far in the battle against this pandemic. But we can still improve on our performance and place our dear state in an enviable position in the ranking of Covid-19 Status in Nigeria by doing all the things that we are expected to do to flatten the curve on this pandemic in Anambra state.
“Ndi Anambra, we are giving this challenge our best efforts. The setting up of Covid-19 Task Force at the Ward Level will play a major role in increased detection and reportage of more cases of Covid-19 in Anambra State.
“So, while there may be a sharp rise in the number of cases in the coming weeks, rest assured that we have enough capacity to handle what will come out of the increased testing. There is no need for panic. We are on top of this situation. And by the grace of God, Anambra State shall come out safe from this pandemic!”