The new coronavirus, burning vehemently like wildfire across the world is causing much pain to humanity.  As of today,  the world has confirmed over 3. 6 million cases and about 255,595 deaths.

Having entered Africa, it has spread fast across the continent even though the number of reported cases are nothing compared to what is obtainable some other parts of the world. The deadly virus has continued to claim lives, many of which have been frontline health workers.

In recent days, there has been a rise of COVID-19 infections among doctors in the sub-Saharan region, especially Nigeria. Many doctors have been infected while treating patients who came to the hospital with symptoms that later turned out to be the disease. 

According to a report,  the total number of health workers infected with the novel coronavirus in Nigeria has reached 113. This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanirein, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, April 30 2020. According to the Minister, medical practitioners make up 6 percent of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Chairman of the Medical Guild (Lagos Chapter), Dr Sodipo Oluwajimi, has also disclosed that 16 doctors in the country’s commercial hub have contracted the deadly coronavirus. He stated that although the doctors were in stable condition, the guild is adopting the “No Personal Protective Equipment, No work” stance to prevent more doctors from being infected with the virus. This was revealed while addressing a press conference on the ‘Issues of Covid-19 Response and Challenges Identified.’ The guild, however, expressed concern over the relaxation of the lockdown in the Lagos state.

In Kano state, it has been confirmed that at least 32 doctors have tested positive for the coronavirus. They all contracted the disease while treating patients who turned out to be COVID-19 cases. This announcement was made by Dr Sanusi Muhammad Bala, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Kano state chapter.

Globally, hundreds of medical practitioners are at the frontline against the pandemic. Unfortunately, many health workers have contracted the virus due to a shortage of protective gears and scores have not survived its sting. The Nigerian government needs to do more to protect the lives of its health workers while also ensuring that every citizen is well informed and taking appropriate safety measures against the virus. We are only as strong as our weakest link.

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