Dr Uwom Eze, the chairman, University College Hospital Taskforce on COVID-19 pandemic, has disclosed that only 49 doctors, at a percentage of 4.5 per cent among the doctors at the hospital has contracted the virus in the last two weeks.
This past week, the chairman of the Resident Doctors Association, said most doctors at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, had gotten COVID-19.
Putting figures into the assertion, Dr Eze, speaking at the January 2021 Continue Medical Education series of the Nigerian Medical Association with the theme “COVID-19 pandemic and the Nigerian Doctor-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, disclosed that the infection had infected only 140 doctors at the hospital since the pandemic started in March 2020 in the country.
He further stated that of the 140 doctors that tested positive till 24th January 2021, 2.5 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 0.9 per cent had tested positive in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital respectively.
He added that most of the cases had mild to moderate symptoms of the infection, noting that so far, no current UCH staff member has died as a result of the virus since the pandemic started.
He, however, advised that Doctors and other frontline health workers need to get more Covid-19 testing, as this will increase the testing level in the country, as this will generate data to make sure right steps are taken to control the pandemic among health workers and other susceptible groups too and to be sure if the country is witnessing a second wave of COVID-19.
According to him, “testing should be done once, to have a baseline; then a repeat test in a month to evaluate outlook. If the positive rate is increasing, then the best step to take is to increase frequency to repeat the test every 2 weeks but if the positive rate is decreasing, frequency of testing is reduced to once in 2 months to assess the trend and act.”
Dr Eze urged increased responsibility from Nigerian doctors to curb the pandemic. At the same time, he called for a synergistic information system that can curb COVID-19 myths and misconceptions in the community and ensure safer obedience to COVID-19 prevention protocol.