Experts want hazard allowance, life insurance for medics Over 40 health workers have tested positive to COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this yesterday. He made the disclosure during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in Abuja. As part of precautionary measures, the minister directed health workers to be watchful when treating any patient. “This warning has become necessary due to the number of health workers who have tested positive for COVID-19.
They are over 40 now,” he said. “Apart from the over 40 health workers, there are others who have been quarantined in the last two weeks due to exposure and have not been able to contribute to efforts of the health sector,” the minister said. Dr. Osagie Ehanire applauded health workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying government would continue to provide them with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Frontline health workers must undertake refresher courses on Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) at intervals… Remain vigilant in the line of duty and maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19,”he said. Sources said most of the COVID-19 positive cases among the medical practitioners were recorded in private hospitals. It was learnt that no fewer than 17 hospitals in Lagos State admitted that their personnel were exposed to the dreaded coronavirus while attending to patients.
Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile, said four health workers died as a result of COVID-19. Other sources said that the number of frontline health workers getting sick from COVID-19 is on the increase considering the pressure on health facilities amid scarcity of protective equipment.
Elsewhere, a situation report by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed that 37 health workers have been affected by Lassa fever this year. Among them, six doctors have lost their lives to Lassa fever this year alone, according to the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
Credible sources said laboratory scientists and technicians, nurses, pharmacists, hygienists and other health workers have taken ill and some of them lost their lives in the line of duty.
“Medical personnel are unsung heroes,” a nurse in Abuja, said.