No fewer than 20 medical laboratory staff of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu have tested positive for the virus.
Four members of the household of one of the hospital’s laboratory staff, were equally reported to have contracted the viral disease from him.
According to a source within the hospital, the staff of the main laboratory started going for COVID-19 test last week Friday, following the death of a staff from the department while some were already ill and manifesting symptoms associated with Covid-19.
The results of the test, the source further informed Daily Sun, started trickling last Saturday and by the time the results were completed on Tuesday, 20 out of about 70 staff working in the medical laboratory of the hospital tested positive, while one of them was discovered to have infected his wife and three children.
This incident, was however, said to have caused great confusion in the teaching hospital while those who tested positive had been told to proceed on self isolation.
Meanwhile, one of the staff of the hospital who spoke to Daily Sun on the condition of anonymity blamed the incident on the insensitivity of the management of the teaching hospital
“The OOUTH Management under Dr. Peter Adefuye should be blamed for whatever happened to the laboratory staff because of their refusal to provide us with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed to have as health workers having direct dealing with the samples of Covid-19 patients
“When they started bringing the samples of COVID-19 patients to us last month, the Director of Medical Laboratory Services Department wrote the management demanding for those things to be put in place so that in the course of caring for others, we will also not be jeopardising our lives. But the management did nothing, they are always quick to say there is no money, yet we know that we are generating money.
“The management of the hospital was equally told to get a separate laboratory for COVID-19 test just as it was done during the outbreak of Ebola virus, but this they also turned down. Were it not for the ongoing strike by resident doctors of the hospital which has largely reduced considerably the number of patients that come to the hospital and make use of these main lab facilities, the numbers of infected persons would have been extremely high”. The staff stated.
Daily Sun also gathered that the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) OOUTH Chapter, had earlier written two letters to the management of the hospital demanding the discontinued processing of COVID-19 samples at the main laboratory because of its attendant risk, but no step was taken to address the issue.
When contacted on phone, the Medical Director, Dr. Peter Adefuye, told our correspondent that he was not under any obligation to speak to the press in the matter.
He declared that it was only the Commissioner for Health that can give him permission to talk to the press.