The University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Oyo State, has suspended key services due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Jesse Otegbayo, on Wednesday, announced the suspension of consultation services to regular outpatients.
Otegbayo, stating that other departments in the hospital will also stop rendering services until further notice, named outpatients clinics, medicine and surgery and paediatric departments as the affected units.
The action, according to the CMD, became necessary due to the accidental exposure of some doctors in the institution to suspected Covid-19 patients and the need to curtail the spread of the deadly disease.
Otegbayo said some doctors in the hospital who were suspected to have been exposed to the virus are currently on self-isolation.
He stated: “We don’t have to wait till we start seeing positive ones before we take appropriate actions. As the CMD, I have the sole responsibility to take care of and protect our staff from unnecessary infection and I just want to be proactive.
“As you are aware, the number of cases that are testing positive to COVID-19 is increasing and personally, I believe in prevention rather than all these curative approaches. Some countries have been able to reduce the number of cases because they locked down early.
“Initially, we thought we should leave the outpatient department open but we realise that continuing to do that in the absence of enough materials to protect all our staff including our doctors, nurses and health attendants is not the best option, and the best option will be to lock this place down,” he explained.
Otegbayo, however, said measures have also been taken to ensure that emergency services remain open, “under strict compliance with preventive measures and standard infection control precautions.”
Meanwhile, contract tracing is ongoing to identify those who may have come in contact with infected people.
Nigeria, since reporting her first case of Covid-19 on February 28 has been battling the scourge across some states.
Fifty-one people, as of March 26, have been confirmed positive with the virus from eight states including Oyo where the institution is located.