Credit: DW Africa

General Secretary of Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has revealed that 789 nurses and midwives have tested positive for Covid-19 barely two months into 2021.

Speaking on the Probe on JoyNews, on Sunday, David Tengkorang-Twum explained that this new increase in infections among health workers is proof that the new wave is having a catastrophic effect on the health care system and its providers.

“Nurses and Midwives by virtue of our practice and the nature of our jobs are residents health care workers so we bear the brunt of this pandemic. You can reckon that the longer you stay with a patient the more likely it is you will be predisposed to the virus.”

“As of August of last year about 840 of our members had been infected and unfortunately we lost three of them. But just this year, from January till today as I speak, 789 have been infected with one death,” Mr Tengkorang-Twum stated.

He added that information reaching him indicates that some of these nurses and midwives who had been infected were forced to attend to patients.

This, he explained, breached the safety protocols health care providers are to follow if they test positive for the virus which includes self-isolation or hospitalisation and treatment.

Following up on the development, Tengkorang-Twum told JoyNews’ Emefa on Newsnight, Monday, that “the instances that I sited have been resolved. The four who tested positive have been asked to step aside and go home.”

“The remaining eight or so in that same unit have been asked to test for the virus. So that is how the process must go.”

Meanwhile, the Head of Infectious Diseases at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital attributed the increase in infection among health care professionals to fatigue.

Dr Peter Puplampu explained that due to the lack of break for health care professionals since Covid-19 broke, many of them easily let down their guard when they are tired.

“The fatigue that is setting in, in addition to the highly infectious nature of this new variant, is going to increase the infectivity among the workers.”

Also, some frontline health workers including those who have tested positive for the virus say they are yet to receive their share of the government’s Covid-19 incentive package.

Speaking to Emefa Apawu Mr Tengkorang-Twum said: “on various instances, we have made this known to the authorities and that’s why I indicated the last time that we also made a collation of our people that got infected and submitted same to the Ministry (of Health).”

“We didn’t want any of our members to be short-changed and we kept following up. So it is up to the government and for that matter the ministry to do what they are expected to do.”

He explained that it is important these issues of incentives are quickly addressed for health care providers to ensure a collaborative fight against the virus.

“I mean this is not the time to raise any banter or create any confusion but I think that they need to do what they need to do so that all of us can fight this virus.”