Coronavirus: A Call For Caution To Doctors

By Dr Nura Alkali

I have seen friends declaring victory over Covid-19 because of only 12 reported cases in Nigeria even with the WHO warning that African countries may be missing cases and could witness major outbreaks.

For healthcare workers already at risk of Lassa Fever (which has killed four doctors in 2020), a Covid-19 epidemic will be a double tragedy. But we can prevent that if we all:

1. Practice regular hand washing with soap and sanitizers
2. Restrict unnecessary travels even within Nigeria
3. Practice social distancing (keeping 1 meter or more distance from others)
4. Practice self-isolation after close contact with suspected cases
5. Present to hospital early if we have fever, cough and breathlessness

On top of that, healthcare workers should also wear disposal gloves when:

1. Examining every patient, regardless of their complaints
2. Handling patient folders, treatment charts and sphygmomanometers during ward rounds
3. Handling door locks, bed frames, treatment trays and every other item in hospital wards.

And doctors should use their own stethoscopes when examining patients since hand gloves can’t protect the ears.

These were the measures which limited the spread of coronavirus in China, Japan and other countries. For Nigeria, the same measures could limit both Covid-19 and the more deadly Lassa Fever.

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