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COVID-19: Doctors Raise Alarm Over Lack Of Testing In Kogi State



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There is a palpable fear at the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja as medical doctors and other health workers raise alarm of imminent danger posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to their lives.

This was against the backdrop of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) report issued on 17th May 2020 that only a single Covid-19 test has been conducted in Kogi State since the disease was recorded in the country about three months ago.

Investigations suggest that many patients with symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 have been seen severally in the hospital but efforts to get them tested were frustrated by the state government authorities.

The doctors fear that they are at a high risk of contracting the disease and transmitting same to their families and other unsuspecting patients. It is a known fact that without Covid-19 tests, physicians cannot properly categorize and treat the patients coming into the hospital in accordance with the management protocols.

While responding to questions by our reporter, the President Association of Resident Doctors FMC Lokoja, Dr Nnanna Agwu, said that the lives of healthcare workers should be priority at this time as the loss of one doctor means that about 6000 persons may not have their access to healthcare services from a doctor, going by the low doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria.

He stated that despite other control measures put in place, zero or inadequate testing for Covid-19 will make them ineffective. He therefore called on the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 to rally all relevant stakeholders in Kogi State to ensure that tests are being done to ensure the safety of the healthcare workers as they are now the most-at-risk population in the state.

“One cannot underestimate the impact of this disease on the lives of the families who have lost loved ones to it. As at today across the country 603 doctors have been exposed,149 confirmed positive and 7 deaths recorded.

We in FMC Lokoja do not wish to be joined in these statistics”, Dr. Agwu stated.

The doctors said that if nothing is done soon to commence testing of all suspected cases, they may be forced to take their destinies into their own hands.

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