Ghana has recorded another case of a health worker; a nurse, testing positive of the deadly COVID-19.
The nurse who works at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, Dr Daniel Asare, disclosed on Accra-based Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen current affairs shows, yesterday.
The Herald’s independent finding is that the lady nurse works in the Medical Ward of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where doctors three days ago, threatened to abandon their patients, lay down their tools and leave the state-owned facility because the required COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and proper isolation centers were not being provided by management.
Her case comes after the cases of the two medical doctors at the Ledzokuku Municipal Hospital (LEKMA Hospital) at Teshie in Accra and the specialist Anesthetist at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, respectively.
Interestingly, all three health workers are not being treated in a hospital but in their private homes leaving many in state of shock especially so when the Health Minister Kweku Agyeman Manu, had mentioned about a VIP facility established by the government in The Bank Hospital owned by the Bank of Ghana to management the condition.
“Our Staff who tested positive for COVID-19 is in home management and everything being catered for. We’re rigorously working on the recovery,” Dr Asare said.
Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital boss told Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen that the unnamed nurse, tested positive for the disease some few days ago.
“It’s true a Nurse here has tested positive for COVID-19 and we’re tracing the primary source. The infected Staff has our full support….” Dr Daniel Asare, said and sought to allay fears of other health workers insisting that ‘there’s insurance available too for all the Staff so no fears.’
Meanwhile, the Greater Accra Regional Hospital also known as Ridge Hospital, has confirmed The Herald’s report that a specialist doctor is under self-quarantined after he was confirmed positive for coronavirus.
The hospital in a statement released after The Herald publication said the Specialist’s case is an imported one as he has a travel history and also confirmed that the Specialist anaesthetist is being treated from home.
“A Specialist doctor with the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ridge is under self-quarantine after returning into the country from South Africa prior to the partial lockdown. The doctor who left Ghana to attend a medical conference has tested positive for COVID19. This came to the fore after he had undergone the two weeks of mandatory self-quarantine. The COVID-19 team has since been taking care of him at the self-quarantine centre and he is currently doing well,” hospital authorities said.
“We have also put in place all other measures to ensure that all the necessary care he needs is provided,” it assured.
The Hospital management stressed that none of its staff has contracted the virus as safety measures have been put in place to ensure they record none in that regard.
“Management want to state categorically that the case was not locally transmitted but rather imported from South Africa. Currently, no frontline staff has tested positive as safety measures have been put in place to ensure that no staff get affected,” the statement added.
The hospital management, therefore, urged colleague staff and family of the doctor to stay calm and support him.
Ghanaian health workers through their professional associations have complained about lack of PPEs and adequately arrangements in the handling and the treatment of COVID-19 cases in country but the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have not shown anything significant in addressing these concerns.
Sixty-one doctors and other healthcare professionals died of COVID-19 in Italy, one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic so far, with 11,591 deaths as of March 30, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center.
A list of clinicians who have died during the COVID-19 epidemic has been compiled by the country’s National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists (FNOMCeO) and is being updated daily.
Anelli also highlighted the lack of personal protective equipment in a March 25 statement: “It is reasonable to assume that these events would have been largely avoidable if health workers had been correctly informed and equipped with sufficient adequate personal protective equipment: masks, gloves, disposable gowns, protective visors, which instead continue to be in short supply.”
Nearly all of the doctors who have died were in northern Italy, where the epidemic began. Four were general practitioners (GPs) in Bergamo, the epicentre of the pandemic, in the Lombardy region, and another four GPs were in Lodi, a nearby town also in the Lombardy region.
Overall, 23 (38%) of the 61 doctors who have died were GPs, the family doctors who would be the first line of defense for anyone who is feeling unwell.
Then there are specialists, who presumably would have been seeing the more severely affected patients treated in hospitals. The list includes several pulmonologists, an anesthesiologist, an epidemiologist, and a medical examiner, as well as two doctors who were working in nursing homes.
Other healthcare professionals have also died from COVID-19. The list includes several dentists as well as an ophthalmologist.
In the UK, the deaths of the first British doctors from Covid-19 have intensified pressure on ministers to accelerate the supply of protective equipment and address growing fears among frontline staff that they risk catching and spreading coronavirus.
As the UK’s death toll from the virus rose to 1,228 over the weekend, two surgeons were confirmed to have died in what the NHS medical director described as “a stark reminder to the whole country that we all must take this crisis seriously”.
Amged El-Hawrani, a 55-year-old ear, nose and throat consultant, died on Saturday at Leicester Royal Infirmary, while Adil El Tayar, 63, an organ transplant specialist, died on Wednesday at West Middlesex University Hospital in London, it emerged. Both had contracted COVID-19.
As they mourned the death of their colleagues, doctors’ and nurses’ groups attacked continuing shortages of protective equipment – from masks to gowns – and complained that there was still confusion despite fresh official guidance about their proper use. There were further calls to ramp up testing of NHS workers.
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