OVER 10 doctors at Lusaka’s Cancer Disease Hospital are in quarantine after coming into contact with their fellow doctor who tested positive for Coronavirus.
But Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Abel Kabalo has expressed doubt at the revelation, saying that he would need to go to UTH to confirm the development.
According to one of the quarantined doctors, all the affected health workers were placed in quarantine after one doctor initially came into contact with a patient, who tested positive for Coronavirus.
He disclosed that, subsequently, they were all tested and that the results were yet to be released.
“When you are working with someone, who is positive, you get exposed. We were working closely with him so we all got tested and the results are yet to come out. All the doctors are in quarantine. People are taking this very lightly. I think he was one of the doctors who was attending to those people that came from Pakistan. We are over 10. It is a serious issue where life is concerned because people are saying, ‘the doctors are not there what is happening to the patients?’ The doctor’s health is as important as the patient’s health. Management will continue. You know, there are other senior doctors who are trying to manage the patients,” revealed the doctor who sought anonymity.
Another doctor told News Diggers that the Ministry of Health had earlier directed that doctors attending to COVID-19 patients would work on rotational basis.
“What was discussed during those briefings with ministry officials was that we would be working on rotational basis. The idea was that after working for 14 days, one group of doctors would then go in quarantine or self isolation for 14 days and then resume work to give chance to the other group that was working to also go on observation. This is also a precaution measure because we don’t have the personal protective equipment. We are working with just basic masks and gloves, so of course we are risking our lives as well. As you can see, even before that 14 days elapses, a good number of doctors have been exposed. From what I know they are actually under quarantine at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital new wing,” said the doctor who also sought anonymity.
But Dr Kabalo said he needed to go to UTH to confirm the development.
“I think we need to go there and see what is obtaining. I don’t think that could be the correct information, I may need to verify it. The person who has been commenting, especially on COVID-19, is the Minister of Health (Dr Chitalu Chilufya), so any other information that you are getting is not the official position of the Ministry. The Minister has been very open regarding the people, who are in quarantine on a daily basis. There are rumours going round, but the Ministry will officially communicate on issues surrounding COVID-19,” said Dr Kabalo.