COVID-19: 39 healthcare workers infected in 72 hours in Edo

Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, hands a face mask to a pedestrian, during the enforcement of the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocol at Kings Square in Benin city

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin

The fight against Coronavius (Covid-19), in Edo State could be heading to crisis, as the state government announced that 39 healthcare workers in the state have contracted the virus in the past 72 hours.

This is even as the government called for caution, as death toll has risen to 21, with 387 active cases in the state and 51 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours.

The 39 health workers are from the various healthcare centres, managing active cases in the state.

The Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, disclosed this during a press briefing in Benin City.

He, however, said that case management for critical care is being strengthened to ensure effective management of severe cases of Covid-19.

Irowa expressed worry over the increasing rate of infection among healthcare workers in the state who are critical to the fight against the spread of the disease.

He said: “We have the challenge of healthcare workers infected with COVID-19. In the last 72 hours, we have had 39 healthcare workers infected with the virus.

“This is critical to us because they are in the frontline taking care of persons who have tested positive or not positive. It is important and necessary to ensure that they are duly protected and comply with the Covid-19 protocols.

“It is our duty to pull the infected healthcare workers out of the system so that they will not infect others.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that the healthcare workers are protected by way of ensuring the use of appropriate PPEs. We also urge them to follow the protocols already designed and being implemented in Edo State.”

“The State has procured additional PPEs for distribution to health facilities across the state to address rising healthcare workers’ infection and decontamination of facilities affected with strict measures to ensure compliance to standard precaution and other IPC preventive measures,” Irowa added.

Meanwhile, the state government has reiterated the need for residents to be cautious and observe all precautionary health and safety guidelines against the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The State Covid-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, gave the charge during a meeting of the Edo State Covid-19 Taskforce, chaired by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

According to him, “Edo state, within the last 24 hours, recorded 51 new cases and three more Covid-19 related deaths, with 387 active cases currently receiving treatment at various isolation and treatment centres in the state.”

He noted that 29 of the newly confirmed cases were recorded at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) laboratory, while 22 others were reported at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.

Obi while urging residents to adhere to guidelines against the spread of the deadly virus to protect the elderly who are most vulnerable to the disease, said the three new deaths recorded in the state are elderly persons above 60 years who died as a result of Covid-19 complications.

The Incident Manager added that two of the deaths were recorded at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), while the other one was reported at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, noting that with the new death figures, the state has now recorded a total of 133 deaths since the outbreak of the virus.

According to him: “Edo state has continued to record a steady increase in mortality rate for the virus, with the toll rising to 21 since December 1, 2020 when the state started tracking the second wave of the deadly virus. This is of serious concern to the government because many of these deaths could have been prevented if citizens adhered to Covid-19 prevention regulations.

“As we continue to ramp up efforts to curtail the spread of the virus and protect the majority of Edo people, especially our elderly population, we urge everyone to observe the set guidelines to contain the pandemic.”