By Jethro Ibileke
There is palpable tension at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), as two suspected COVID-19 patients previously declared negative later tested positive for the virus after further test.
The leadership of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), UBTH branch, in a message on its WhatsApp platform, had expressed concern over the safety of its members who had contact with the patients.
The message suggested that one of the patients who had been handled like normal cases, later died and further tests confirmed that they were positive for the virus.
The message reads: “It has been brought to our notice with great dismay that the earlier results of the two suspected COVID -19 cases previously declared negative have turned out to be positive after further tests.
“Whilst the EXCO cannot fully ascertain at this time what may have led to this, it has become imperative at this point to inform our members on the sudden turn of events.
“We expect management to issue a statement on the way forward, as this cuts across all members of staff that have been involved in management of these Patients.
“We have been informed by the infectious disease team that new samples (from the patient that is still alive) have been taken and sent out for further investigation.
The leadership of ARD however implored its members to “remain calm and go about their normal duties and to continue to maintain high index of suspicion and ensure standard precautions for all patients.”
But, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, disclosed that contact tracing has been commenced for all staff who had direct contact with the patient.
Obaseki in a memo made available to this medium, confirmed that the patient has been moved to the isolation ward for continued management.
Obaseki said: “The UBTH management has received conflicting results on the COVID-19 status of two of our patients. Another sample has been collected for confirmation.
“While we await this result, the patient has been moved to the isolation ward for continued management.
“Contact tracing has been commenced for all staff who had direct contact with the patient. Terminal disinfection has been mandated for all places the patient was managed.
“The patient has continued to improve clinically, vital signs remain stable and his SPO2 has ranged between 92-94%.
“Management enjoins everyone to remain calm and continue to observe the necessary standard precautions.
“Please continue to comply with all prior advisories issued by management. These will be regularly updated as needed.”