A British doctor who warned United Kingdom Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, that health workers on the front line did not have enough personal protection equipment (PPE) has died of COVID-19.
Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, a 53-year-old consultant in the urology department at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Romford, worked for the NHS for more than 20 years after migrating from Bangladesh.
He died on Wednesday aged 53 after spending 15 days in hospital.
In a Facebook post on March 18 directly addressing Johnson, Chowdhury urged the prime minister to provide PPE for “each and every NHS health worker in the UK”, as he called for him to fast-track testing for medical staff.
Doctors, nurses and other workers who are in direct contact with patients were trying to help, he wrote, “but we are also human beings [with] human rights like others [trying] to live in this world disease-free with our family and children.”
While he appreciated moral support being given to NHS workers,
“we have to protect ourselves and our families and kids in this global disaster crisis by using appropriate PPE and remedies,” he said.
“I hope we are by default entitled to get this minimal support for our safe medical practice.”
Adnan Pavel, Chowdhury’s friend, described him as an “enthusiastic” mentor to young British Bangladeshi men in the UK and a selfless philanthropist to vulnerable people in Bangladesh.
“He was such a good man. He was always very helpful to everyone. He was a man with life,” Pavel told Al Jazeera.
Last year, Pavel and Chowdhury delivered a motivational speech to British Bangladeshi men who had just graduated or were about to apply to university.
“He wanted to inspire them so that they could fulfil their calibre and become a successful doctor, engineer, journalist, academic, lawyer or accountant,” he said.
“Because Dr Chowdhury was a senior doctor, he always actively helped junior doctors so that they could fulfil their career aspirations as well.”
“He personally initiated many medical projects in remote villages in Bangladesh [providing] free medical treatment.”
On February 8, Pavel interviewed Chowdhury for a TV programme on a Bangladeshi community channel, NTV Europe, about concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dr Chowdhury started talking about the [coronavirus] issue from the very beginning, asking why the British government and other European countries weren’t taking rigorous and strict measures to control it.
“He was worried developing countries like Bangladesh will be the worst victim of this crisis because of economic issues and improvised healthcare issues,” said Pavel.
Chowdhury’s death came amid mounting concerns that medical workers are not receiving adequate PPE.
Some have claimed that they have had to share PPE, while reports in UK media suggest some nurses have resorted to using bin bags as aprons.
Asif Munaf, an acute medical registrar who works across the East Midlands, told Al Jazeera: “We’ve learned from the countries such as Taiwan and South Korea that full PPE for front line staff is absolutely crucial in circumventing the patient-staff spread as well as more general surface contact spread.
“This has resulted in fewer healthcare staff deaths than would otherwise have transpired.
“Despite the stark warnings from Italian doctors as well as our own NHS front line, most notably Dr Chowdhury who has passed away this week after his posting a Facebook status about his concerns, the government seem to be deploying an ‘it will be ok’ attitude in the face of a growing crisis.
“How many more front line deaths will we have to seen before adequate PPE is rolled out across the NHS?”
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS
On the run COVID-19 patients worry FG
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Government was disturbed by COVID-19 patients, who were fleeing isolation centres. This, he said, had worsened the transmission of the virus in communities.
The health minister said the government had problems in trying to convince some COVID-19 positive people that they had the virus.
“We also have issues with people who test positive and think you are going to look for them and then they run. So the figures don’t tally because people who think you are going to trace them don’t want to go into isolation.”
The health minister explained that the Federal Ministry of Health team sent to investigate the incidents in Kano, Sokoto, Jigawa, Borno, Katsina and Gombe had concluded its work and would submit its final report on Friday (today).
Meanwhile, confirmed cases of coronavirus have increased to 11,516 in Nigeria.
This is after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced 350 new cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The NCDC made the announcement via its Twitter handle on Thursday.
“On the 4th of June 2020, 350 new confirmed cases and 8 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
“No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.
“To date, 11516 cases have been confirmed, 3535 cases have been discharged and 323 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The 350 new cases are reported from 20 states- Lagos (102), Ogun (34), FCT (29), Borno (26), Kaduna (23), Rivers (21), Kwara (16), Ebonyi (17), Katsina (14), Edo (10), Delta (10), Kano (10), Bauchi (10), Bayelsa (9), Imo (8), Plateau (4), Ondo (3), Nasarawa (2), Gombe (1), Oyo (1).”
70 health workers test positive for coronavirus in Ghana
Seventy health workers in Ghana’s central region have tested positive for coronavirus, according to health authorities.
The country has recorded over 8,000 confirmed cases of the disease, 38 deaths and more than 3,000 recoveries.
The infected health workers are said to be asymptomatic, which means they have not shown symptoms of the virus.
The authorities say some of them did not adhere to safety protocols and got infected from the community.
The central region in southern Ghana has recorded over 400 cases of the virus, and 70 of them are health workers.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has eased restrictions on religious gatherings and has opened schools for final year students despite a rise in cases. But Ghana’s borders remain closed indefinitely.
COVID-19: NOA intensifies campaign, seeks media collaboration against spread
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Ebonyi has embarked on house-to-house and streets-to-streets enlightenment campaigns on the public to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety protocols.
The State Director of the Agency, Dr Emma Abah, made this known on Thursday, during its COVID-19 motorised campaign, around major city centres in the state.
The campaign had as its theme: “Communicating Government Policies, Programmes and Activities”.
Abah, who addressed the general public in various languages during the campaign, said that the sensitisation aimed at reaching out to those at the grassroots level who might be ignorant of the pandemic and its protocols.
The state director, who led the campaign team, said that the exercise would be extended to the 13 Local Government areas of Ebonyi by the Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers.
He said the campaign would focus specifically on those who did not believe that the epidemic was real.
Abah said: “We are reaching out to streets, government offices, motor parks, traditional rulers, village heads, villages, communities among other groups to observe the safety measures.
“The public enlightenment is to ensure total compliance of the COVID-19 regulations such as regular hand wash, use of sanitizers, face masks, avoiding social gathering, social distancing and among other preventive measures.”
He called on electronic and print media organisations’ supports to assist governments efforts in containing the coronavirus spread through continuous sensitisation of the public.
The General Manager, Nigeria Television Authority, Abakaliki, Uzoma Ozordi, pledged the organisation’s continuous support to fight the pandemic.
“We have taken measures and will continue to assist the state government with programmes to boost its efforts,” Ozordi said.
Also, the General Manager, Federal Radio Corporation, Unity FM, Abakaliki, Mr Rex Eze promised to work together with NOA in Ebonyi to achieve set objectives.
The representative of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ebonyi, Mr Anthony Obasi, also urged the state government to step up measures to prevent the spread of the virus in parks.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the campaign progressed from street-to-street, city centres, government offices and various offices of media houses in Ebonyi.
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