The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says about 40 health workers have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Dr Ehanire disclosed this on Thursday during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He, therefore, appealed to medical workers in the frontline of the COVID-19 fight to always protect themselves while giving treatment to infected patients. “I applaud all our health workers in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government will continue to provide you with the necessary protective equipment,” the minister said.
He added, “I urge you all to take all the necessary precautions for your own safety, please do not try to treat patients without using adequate PPE. “Frontline workers must undertake refresher courses training in IPC at intervals. This advice is necessary due to the number of health workers who have tested positive – they are over 40 now.”
The minister noted that Nigeria recorded 91 new infections on Wednesday, out of which 74 cases were confirmed in Lagos. He explained that the high number of cases reported recently was as a result of increased testing and community transmission. Dr Ehanire stated that even though the testing centres have the capacity to test above 1,000 samples daily, only about 600 people come in daily for testing. According to him, there is a huge number of people who tested positive but have not developed any symptoms.
In his opening remarks at the briefing, the PTF chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stressed the need for Nigerians to cooperate with efforts targeted at flattening the curve of COVID-19 in the country. He also raised concerns about the noncompliance of some private hospitals with the government’s directives, saying they still treat cases of COVID-19 secretly.
The SGF, therefore, called on owners of private hospitals across the country who want to treat COVID-19 patients to seek approval from the Federal Ministry of Health. He also appealed to survivors of COVID-19 to tell their stories in order to encourage others to come forward for a test to curb the spread of the disease.