Patients admitted to private hospitals in Nigeria will be declared Covid-19 positive until proven otherwise, the country’s guild of medical directors (GMD) has declared. The decision was taken after doctors were exposed to the virus by patients who had not disclosed their travel histories. According to The Guardian Nigeria, private hospital patients will be required to comply with all regulations and protocols currently in place, such as hand washing, use of hand sanitisers, temperature checks and possible isolation.
GMD president, professor Femi Dokun-Babalola said three of the guild’s members had died after coming into contact with infected patients. He asked the ministry of health to assist private hospitals with protective equipment as they were not only dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, but had other illnesses they needed to attend to. The impression that private hospitals in Nigeria are keen to treat patients with Covid-19 infection, perhaps for monetary gain, must be dispelled.
“Permit me to mention that three of our colleagues have already died. Dr AliyuYakubu, proprietor of Daura Clinics and Medical Centre in Katsina State, Dr Dominic Essien of San Dominic Hospital in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Dr Emeka Chugbo, a well-renowned obstetrician who died recently in Lagos. The death of Dr Chugbo is perhaps illustrative of the dilemma faced by private practitioners in Nigeria.
“He was an obstetrician who carried out a caesarian section on a Covid-19 patient and he had no idea the patient was positive. It is clear he would not have undertaken the operation if he had that knowledge,” Dokun-Babalola said.
By Sunday, the country had reported 86 new cases of the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 627. To date, 170 individuals have been discharged after recovering from the virus. Twenty-one people have died as a result of the infection. The 86 new cases stem from seven states: Lagos, FCT, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Borno, Bauchi and Jigawa, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
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