Panic as COVID-19 hits OOUTH, family of four, 20 staff test positive

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Uneasy air now pervades the atmosphere of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu as 20 medical laboratory staff of the hospital and another family of four have contracted Coronavirus disease.

The family of four was said to have contracted the viral disease from their father who happened to be one of the staff working in the hospital’s main laboratory.

Impeccable source said that the staff of the laboratory started going for Covid-19 test last week Friday, August 13 following the death of a staff from the department while some were already ill and manifesting symptoms associated with Covid-19.

The results of the test were said to have started trickling in from last week Saturday to yesterday, Tuesday confirming that 20 out of about 70 staff working in the medical laboratory of the hospital have the virus while one of them had also infected his wife and three children.

This incident was said to have cause great confusion in the teaching hospital while those confirmed to be having the virus have been told to proceed on self isolation.

One of the staff of the hospital who spoke to our Correspondent on the condition of anonymity has however heaped the blame of the incident on the insensitivity of the management of the teaching hospital to the plight of the medical laboratory staff dealing with Covid-19 patients

He said “the OOUTH management under Dr Peter Adefuye should be blamed for whatever happened to the laboratory staff because of their refusal to provide us with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that we needed to have as health workers having direct dealing with the samples of Covid-19 patients

“When they started bringing the samples of Covid-19 patients to us last month, the Director of Medical Laboratory Services Department wrote the management demanding for those things to be put in place so that in the course of caring for others, we will also not be jeopardising our lives but the management did nothing, they are always quick to say there is no money, yet we know that we are generating money for the government”

“The management of the hospital were equally told to get a separate laboratory for Covid-19 test just as it was done during the time of Ebola but this they also turned down. Were it not for the ongoing strike of Resident Doctors of the hospital which has largely reduce considerably the number of patients that come to the hospital and make use of this main Lab facilities, the numbers of infected person would have been extremely high”.

Our Correspondent also gathered that the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) OOUTH chapter has equally written the management of the hospital twice demanding the discontinued processing of Covid-19 samples at the main laboratory because of its attendant risk, setting up of a different lab for Covid-19 test and ensure that the lab workers were provided with sufficient personal protective kits.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Peter Adefuye reportedly did nothing on the concerns of the lab workers as expressed in the two letters and that if they like they can as well join the resident doctors of the hospital who have been on strike for about about two months now.

When contacted on phone, the Medical Director, Dr. Peter Adefuye, told our correspondent that he was not under any obligation to speak to the press in the matter.

He declared that it was only the Commissioner for Health that can give him permission to talk to the press.

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