Some UCH Doctors in Self-isolation, Says CMD

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Olanrewaju Suraju

The Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, disclosed thursday that some doctors in the hospital were in self-isolation for coming in contact with some people who were suspected to have contracted coronavirus.

The hospital has currently closed down its medicine, surgery and children wards while the accident and emergency department are still open.

Otegbayo said, “There are some of our doctors who are in self-isolation or quarantine because of exposure to suspected cases. We don’t have to wait till we start seeing positive ones before we take appropriate actions.

“As the CMD, I have the sole responsibility to take care of and protect our staff from unnecessary infection and I just want to be proactive. As you are aware, the number of cases testing positive to COVID-19 is increasing and personally, I believe in prevention rather than the curative approaches.”

He explained that some countries were able to reduce the number of cases because they locked down early. He said, “Initially, we thought we should leave the outpatient department open but we realised that continuing to do that in the absence of enough materials to protect all our staff, including our doctors, nurses and health attendants, is not the best option. The best option will be to lock this place down.”

Otegbayo said measures had been taken to ensure that emergency services remained open under strict compliance with preventive measures and standard infection control precautions.

He added, “We have channels for taking care of those with emergencies and we are going to do that to the best of our abilities. I usually call the Accident and Emergency Department a mad house, but we have had to put in some measures to ensure that it is not just the staff, but also patients with emergencies are protected.

“We have a spillover tent outside our Accident and Emergency with measures that everyone who comes in maintains a safe distance from one another and these measures are necessary to ensure that we all work under the best condition in order to put in our best.”

According to him, the hospital is merging its wards to reduce the number of patients on admission.”

He said those who were stable were being discharged in order to sort out and limit the number of staff being exposed to infection.