The University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital says it is restricting visitation to the hospital following the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Maiduguri.

Ahidjo said the measure was aimed at mitigating the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and protecting the health and safety of patients, staff and visitors.

He said: “In patients, caregivers or support persons have been restricted to two per patient.

“These two relations will be allowed to stay with patients during the period of admission.

“The hospital management has also cancelled all visitation by relations or friends of patients and staff.

“Review and possible discharge of stable patients who are currently on admission should also be suspended.”

While also announcing the suspension of all burial and or funeral rites within the hospital premises, Ahidjo directed that only six family members will be allowed access to the hospital for collection of corpses.

He said: “On this note, members of staff are strongly advised against non essential trips to places outside the state.

“Self isolation for 14 days is recommended for those who have traveled to high risk places in the last two weeks.

“Avoiding large gatherings and ensuring diligent practice of social distancing, strict observance of personal Infection Prevention and Control, measures such as avoiding handshakes, frequent hand washing with liquid soap or alcohol-based sanitisers

“Also ensuring respiratory hygiene as well as use of Personal Protective Equipment should be adhered to.

“In line with the Federal Government’s circular which exempts essential public servants from compulsory stay at home, all UMTH staff are expected to be present at their duty post.

“However, those aged 65 years old and above are exempted and are required to work from their homes.”

The CMD also directed that all members of staff currently on annual leave were by the notice recalled to support efforts at combating the pandemic.

Ahidjo said: “All people entering the hospital must subject themselves to temperature screening as well as hand washing using chlorine water or hand sanitisers provided at the gate.

“Any suspected case of COVID-19 should be received at the UMTH isolation centre, be offered the mask, and immediately call: 08029800307, 08030997944 and 07066626404.”

The CMD warned that on no account should any case be sent home or rejected by the hospital and that new patients should be given long appointments.

Ahidjo, however, said follow-up cases should be considered on the grounds of urgent and emergent conditions.

He said: “The hospital has also suspended all elective surgeries.

“Only emergency surgical procedures are allowed.

“All Hospital and Department Clinical meetings that will encourage large gatherings should be avoided as much as possible.

“In this regard, the hospital grand round slated for March 25 has been cancelled.

“All hospital building construction workers have been directed to observe IPC measures and will be restricted to their areas of construction.

“Only obligatory religious activities are allowed to hold in UMTH Mosque and Chapel.

“Non obligatory services are not allowed.

“IPC measures and social distancing should be observed by all worshipers and their leaders.

“Only UMTH staff will be allowed access to the central Mosques and Hospital Chapel.”

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