The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan Oyo State, has suspended key services due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The suspension of consultation services to regular outpatients was announced by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Jesse Otegbayo, on Wednesday.
Otegbayo said other departments in the hospital will also stop rendering services till further notice.
The units affected are outpatients clinics, medicine and surgery and paediatric departments.
Otegbayo said the action became necessary due to the “accidental exposure of some doctors in the institution to some suspected Covid-19 patients”.
He said that the suspension was to curtail the spread of the deadly disease.
With the suspension of these services, this implies that scores of people who regularly access medical treatment from the institution will no longer have access to it until further notice.
This would affect not just the state or South-west but patients from all over the country.
The teaching hospital, which was established in 1957, is not only a major health facility in the state but the entire country.
Hundreds of people from the state and other neighboring states who are currently accessing health services in UCH will no longer have access to care.
Otegbayo said some doctors in the hospital who were suspected to have been exposed to the virus are currently on self-isolation.
Nigeria since it reported its first case of Covid-19 on February 28 has been battling the scourge across some states.
As at the time of reporting, 51 people have been confirmed positive with the virus from eight states including Oyo where the institution is located.
Meanwhile, contract tracing is still ongoing to identify those who may have come in contact with infected people.
Some of the doctors in UCH, were said to have been in contact with some suspected cases.
Newsmen had previously reported that there were some suspected cases of Covid-19 in Oyo but so far only one case has tested positive.
The state governor, Seyi Makinde, who confirmed this, also said another person suspected to be having the virus is under monitoring.
Meanwhile, Otegbayo said some doctors in the hospital who had close contact with the suspected persons at the isolation center “are either on self isolation or quarantined”.
He, however, did not state the number of doctors affected.
“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.”