Shortage of PPE, N95 masks exposes us to infection risks —Lagos isolation centre workers

Healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients at the Mainland Hospital, an infectious disease facility in Yaba, Lagos, have raised the alarm over alleged shortage of Personal Protective Equipment.

They allege that the shortage of the crucial equipment is exposing them to risks of contracting the coronavirus.

A reliable source at the hospital who spoke to PUNCH HealthWise on the condition of anonymity said the situation was becoming worrisome, as there is no N95 respirator mask, protective suit or face shield for the health workers.

“We no longer have the N95 mask that we can use at the isolation centre at IDH, and that is the only reassurance for health workers,” the source said.

The source alleged that the government was planning to implement a new policy that will make health workers at the hospital to use the common medical mask.

“They want to bring out a new policy, because if there is no N95, the next option is to use the normal blue medical mask that everyone wears on the street, and it is not proper for people attending to confirmed cases of COVID-19 to wear such a mask.

“Now, health workers are breaking down and coming down with COVID-19. This mask is not what we can use. The shortage started since the beginning of last week and we’ve been rationalising it.

“So, instead of having four people go into the isolation centre, two people will go in and they can only administer the drug.

“So, there is no enough manpower that can go in because we don’t have enough PPE for workers.”

Distraught by the situation, the source said, “This is endangering our lives already,” the source said.

Our Correspondent gathered that three nurses had tested positive for COVID-19 at the IDH.



April 26, 2020

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