Dr. Kabir Zubair, the Chairman, Kogi chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), on Thursday, said that testing for COVID-19 had remained a serious challenge in the state.
Zubair told newsmen in Lokoja, while reacting to the report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that only one sample had been sent in for testing by the state, which returned negative.
He said that the challenge of not testing enough had led to agitation from members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD).
Zubair said that they were among the first set of doctors to attend to suspected cases, a number of which, he said, had been received at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, in recent times.
“Although no confirmed case has been reported in Kogi till date, a number of suspected cases have been attended to at the FMC Lokoja and members of ARD are among the first to attend to these patients,” Zubair said.
According to him, ARD is an affiliate of NMA, adding that the doctors are among the most exposed healthcare workers to patients with suspected COVID-19 in the hospital setting.
Zubair said that NMA was aware of the agitation by ARD members, saying that they were apprehensive in the last few months due to community spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He said that the FMC, Lokoja, remained the only functional tertiary health institution in the state, regularly attending to a wide range of patients.
The NMA chairman said that the fear of being exposed to patients with COVID-19 was a major concern.
“As a clinician, standard practice demands that the moment you have clinical suspicion of infectious disease, the ideal thing is to carry out 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 why members of ARD are agitated, as testing for COVID-19 has remained a challenge in the state,” he said.