Doctors, under the auspices of the Medical Guild, in Lagos State, said 16 of its members have tested positive to COVID-19 in the state.
The Medical Guild comprises doctors under the employment of the Lagos State government.
The Chairman of the Guild, Dr. Oluwajimi Sodipo, said at a media briefing on Monday in Lagos, that Lagos, being the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria, had seen members of the guild playing a critical role in the response plan.
He said, the doctors were engaged in training, contact tracing, surveillance, enlightening of the public and providing clinical care at the isolation centres and hospitals.
“This has unfortunately led to several healthcare workers being infected with COVID-19 and over 16 doctors are isolated so far in the state workforce.
“There may be more doctors who are infected, but from the information available to us, 16 of our members are infected with COVID-19,” he said.
Adding that the infected doctors were doing fine, adding, “We don’t have any mortality among our members”.
According to him, the current community transmission of COVID-19 has led to a situation where everyone can be designated as a COVID-19 suspect, especially as there are asymptomatic patients, as well as those with atypical symptoms.
On the current relaxation of the lockdown in the state, Sodipo said the guild was concerned that there might be a spike in number of infected cases in the state and call on authorities to constantly carry out analysis of the relaxation of the lockdown.
“If there is a surge, government should consider reintroduction of the lockdown measures,” Sodipo said.
He said penalties for defaulters that did not follow the guidelines of social distancing, face masks and reduction in numbers of passengers in public vehicles should be effectively prosecuted in accordance with legislative provisions.
The guild chairman maintained that enlightenment of the public should be intensified, especially in the densely populated areas.
“Some people believe that COVID-19 is a myth; we need to make them realise that the virus is real and dangerous,” he said.
Sodipo recommended that testing capacity and contact tracing must be ramped up to allow for proper containment of the pandemic.
“This will assist in clinical decision making with reduction in the spread among the patients, healthcare workers and the population,” he said.
Sodipo appealed that adequate measures should be put in place to ensure that test results of COVID-19 suspects were released within a maximum of 48 hours toward reducing exposure of the healthcare workers and the populace.
He called for the provision of more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers in order to assist them to conduct their duties accordingly.
Sodipo urged government to start the process of dialogue and negotiation with health workers with a mandate for implementation of health workers agreement emphasising health insurance, hazard allowance, COVID-19 allowance, among other benefits.