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Over 100 Nigerian Health Workers Test Positive For COVID-19 As Isolation Centers Become Too Full

The number of health workers infected by coronavirus has risen to 113, the government said on Thursday. The figure was 40 last week.

The government said most of the health workers including doctors are from private hospitals and clinics.

It said some of the health workers treat coronavirus patients in private hospitals and clinics without taking the necessary precautions and without the necessary training, thereby putting themselves and their families at risk of contracting the virus.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said: “As for the over 300 doctors (infected by Covid-19) that’s a fable. It is not true. There are not so many people in the health sector who are infected. Latest figures we have is that there are about 113 and these 113 are not all public health workers.

“A good number of them are from private hospitals and if you hear us speaking here frequently against trying to treat coronavirus in private clinics we are actually referring to people who do so without having the necessary precautions, without having the necessary training. Because they risk infecting themselves and they go home and give this infection to their family. That is not the right thing.

“The healthcare workers who have no training, have no business actually handling coronavirus. As for those who do not have the necessary equipment, we have said that we have provided equipment personal protective equipment (PPE) for those who are out there.
“There are one or two places where we have heard that there is tightness in supplies and we have tried to send them over there. But let me remind you again that there is a global shortage of PPEs.

“There is a global shortage. Many countries are struggling and hustling to PPEs, even for the gowns, for face masks and I reminded you of an argument between two world powers over 200 face masks if some of you read about it that were supposed to be delivered to one but ceased by the other.

“It tells you that these things are really scary and we are doing everything we can to make sure our frontline workers have requirements and that we also have a stockpile that we can send quickly.

Meanwhile, the fear of lack of bed space for coronavirus patients at isolation centres has gripped the government.

There are 3,500 bed spaces at the various isolation and treatment centres in the country. These will became inadequate given the anticipated spike in positive cases as a result of the planned testing of two million people.

Lagos, which is the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, with close to 1,000 case as at Thursday, out of which 718 are active and 192 discharged, is worst-hit.

It has about 540 bed spaces, at the five official isolation centres, excluding the spaces at private facilities including the one in Badagry.

The government is now seeking the possibility of home treatment.

Besides, owners of uncompleted buildings or empty property are urged to donate them to the government for use.

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