Liberia: Intern Doctor, Human Resource Manager at St. Joseph Catholic Hospital Test Positive for Coronavirus
MONROVIA – The administration of St. Joseph Catholic Hospital has confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that its Human Resource Manager and an intern doctor who was assigned at the hospital have been tested positive for coronavirus.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The Administrator of the hospital, Brother Peter Dawoh told FPA that due to the devastating impact Ebola had on the hospital which left nine of its senior staff and doctors dead, the hospital had always kept its triage open to avoid a repeat of what happened during the Ebola.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have control over the environment in which the staff live or in which they stay or what they do after work. What we heard was that our HR, he came to us and said, he needs to go and do his test because his son is always moving around… he went on Monday for his test, Tuesday in the evening he called that he was tested positive,” Brother Dawoh said.
According to him, the intern doctor had left the hospital to visit a relative and upon his return, he began experiencing symptoms of malaria.
“He lost his sense of taste and smell and so that’s why he also voluntarily wen to do his test. Only for us to be informed but the surveillance team that these people proved positive so all the staff who interacted with them need to be tested or quarantined or investigated,” the administrator explained.
According to him, the surveillance team from the Ministry of Health and NPHIL opted to investigate all the staff who had come into contact with the pair and classified them into high-risk and low risk groups.
“The person who was working in the office of the HR, he has been classified as high-risk and so immediately we stopped him from coming to work and then we asked him to avail himself to the surveillance team,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have control over the environment in which the staff live or in which they stay or what they do after work. What we heard was that our HR, he came to us and said, he needs to go and do his test because his son is always moving around… he went on Monday for his test, Tuesday in the evening he called that he was tested positive.”– Brother Peter Dawoh, Administrator, St. Joseph Catholic Hospital
He said another doctor and a nurse who came into close contact with the intern doctor have been sent on a 14-day compulsory quarantine while other staff have been asked to go into self-isolation at home.
The hospital has also closed the maternity ward in which the doctor and the high-risk suspects were working but will reopen it after fumigation by the health authorities, he said.
“As a hospital, we are aware of this COVID-19, we are very much sensitive of it and based on our experience during Ebola in which we had nine of our staff who died – senior staff with administrative with administrative positions, staff of the various departments and senior staff also, we lost them – and so that’s why we don’t to repeat that same situation in this hospital.
He noted that the hospital is not getting any preventive materials but has been using personal protective equipment (PPE) that were kept since the Ebola epidemic.
“We had to keep what we had during the Ebola, we didn’t throw them away. We kept most of the PPE, the masks, the gloves and other things and in situation like this, those are the things that we are using,” he said.