Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Panic has gripped Bayelsa State as health workers have emerged as those facing the highest risk in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.
Investigations revealed that 82 health workers have so far tested positive for the lethal infection in the state.
Bayelsa State has had 245 total confirmed cases, 127 have been discharged, and 102 are currently being treated while 16 deaths have been recorded including that of a health worker in the state.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri, Yenagoa Local Government Area, had recently suspended their industrial action for three weeks to allow government resolve their grievances which include protection of health workers and payment of hazard allowances.
The high rate of infection of health workers and the high ratio of death which is 6.8% and higher than the national ratio is giving Governor Douye Diri and the COVID-19 state task force concerns.
To stem the rate of infection, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) have been distributed to health facilities to protect health workers.
Also the task force had identified Churches as the major stakeholder not complying with social distancing and preventive measures in response to the pandemic in the state.