Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Kogi State has lamented that lack of enough testing for COVID-19 is putting the doctors and other health workers in the state at great risk.
Its chairman, Dr Kabir Zubair, while speaking with journalists on Thursday in Lokoja, said such challenge affects other clinical issues as well.
He stated this while responding to inquiries on the report of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that only one sample had been sent in for test by the state which returned negative.
He said that the challenge had trigger agitation from members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), who are among the first to attend to suspected cases, a number of which have been received at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja in recent times.
“Although, no confirm case have been reported in Kogi State till date, but a number of suspected cases have been attended to at FMC Lokoja and members of ARD are among the first to attend to these patients and as such they might be exposed to the highly contagious COVID-19,” he noted.
He said ARD are among the most exposed healthcare workers to patients with suspected COVID-19 in the hospital settings.
He explained that FMC Lokoja is the only functional tertiary health institutions in the state and attends to a wide range of patients, adding that the ever present danger of being exposed to patients with COVID-19 is a major source of worry.
“As a clinician, standard practice demands that the moment you have clinical suspicion of an infectious diseases, the ideal thing is to carryout laboratory confirmation.
“COVID-19 is a highly contagious infectious disease responsible for the ongoing global pandemic. “In Nigeria, new cases are reported daily and community spread is accelerating.
“This is the reason why members of ARD are agitated as testing for COVID-19 has remained a challenge in the state,” he contended.
The NCDC revealed on May 18 that Kogi and Cross River states have the lowest figures of samples tested since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country in February, 2020.
The two states are yet to record any confirmed case. According to the the situation report released by the NCDC last Tuesday, Kogi submitted only one sample while Cross Rivers submitted seven. Nigeria recorded its index case of the Covid-19 pandemic in February, 2020.