EXCLUSIVE: About 25 doctors on self isolation in UBTH after 3 patients tested positive for COVID-19.

There is palpable fear and apprehension among the staff and management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) right now as 3 patients have been confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus in the hospital.

25 doctors on self isolation in UBTH after 3 patients tested positive for COVID-19
Not more than 25 doctors on self isolation in UBTH after 3 patients tested positive for COVID-19

This coronavirus crisis started when three patients who initially tested negative for COVID-19 were re-tested and results now came back positive.

When the first series of test was reported to be negative, the patients were removed from isolation and taken into the male medical ward and in the process, other patients, doctors, nurses, cleaners, porters and patients relatives must have been exposed to the deadly virus.

While in the ward, the clinical state of one of the patients with a pre-existing medical condition – chronic kidney disease to be precise, deteriorated and was was taken to the renal unit for dialysis(another exposure) and he later died in the intensive care unit of the hospital (yet another exposure of health workers in ICU).

In the meantime, the doctors who attended to these patients confirmed to the Nigerian Health Blog via a phone interview that the patients were admitted via A and E with complaints of cough, difficulty in breathing, catarrh but they all denied their travel history.

According to one of the numerous doctors who had direct contact with the patients: “I am scared for my life, why do patients lie?, why are most patients bent on spreading this virus to health workers, i clerked these patients personally in the Medical Accident and Emergency Unit but none of them told me they just returned from Europe including the relatives that brought them even when i asked several times.

“We decided to take their samples for COVID-19 screening to Irrua Specialist Hospital because their symptoms were highly suspicious of coronavirus infection.”

“The results came back negative about 72 hours later and by this time, one of the patients had died in ICU after an unsuccessful dialysis. Repeat results today has now confirmed they are all positive. To make matters worse, it is today am hearing the remaining two have admitted to travelling abroad.” He said.

The Nigerian Health Blog reliably gathered that one of the coronavirus infected patients have been referred to Irrua Specialist Hospital, while the other has been removed from the ward back into isolation.

Meanwhile, at most 25 medical doctors have gone into mandatory isolation. Out of the 25 doctors, at least 13 are house officers and close to 12 are resident doctors.

A message received by the NIGERIAN HEALTH BLOG from a senior doctor whose department was directly involved in this unfortunate saga read:

“Currently 13 houseofficers and at least 8 Residents in my department have been asked to go on isolation because they had direct contact with both case. So there is practically no where to scale down further to than to close the department.”

As tension is building in UBTH over this ugly situation, the CMD of the hospital, Prof Darlington Obaseki has set-up a life insurance package for health workers that will be in the frontline of treating COVID-19 patients.

He (Obaseki) has been constantly criticized for the poor handling of coronavirus in the hospital as many of the healthworkers have complained of lack of personal protective equipments like face masks and hand sanitizers. Others say the hospital was never prepared for COVID-19 inspite of several warnings.

Fumigation is presently ongoing in the wards and emergency units of the hospital. The usually busy hospital now looks deserted.

If you want to get full details on how this controversy started, click on this link.

Lastest Update!

The CMD of UBTH has formally confirmed this report in his just released press statement. Click here to see it.


  1. All patients coming through the A&E should be seen as high risk patients. Precautions are to be taken even while clerking. Also, patients for whatever reasons lie in their history. As a doctor or health care personnel, every patient you come across should be assumed to be infected with the corona virus until proven otherwise. That’s the only way to protect yourself.

  2. I am surprised someone is sounding as if the caregivers should have taken adequate precautions. Precautions while managing HIV positive patients is different from covid 19 :so also while operating a patient with low platelet count compared to a patient with normal platelet count. That’s why history,laboratory tests etc are done.
    Lawyers may win there cases by hiding the truth but doctors is by exposing the truths. Whether in Benin Ilorin or Lagos the patients and their relatives are wicked.

  3. Could it be that the testing facility was not sensitive enough. For the patient to die so quick after the negative result

  4. I am beginning to doubt the efficacy of the Covid-19 test, though it is sufficiently reported that a patient can test negative and then positive. It is regretful that Doctors are allowed to work without adequate protective materials in a teaching hospital. Its needless to say the Minister of Health is from Edo State. Nigeria may have to resort to native doctors because the hospitals would be deserted by medical doctors. Government should be more serious

  5. Why can’t the test be carried out in UBTH,why go so far?If it was available,some of these mistakes could have been avoided.The CMD isn’t serious,he really doesn’t provide enough Personal protective equipment for health workers to work it .I just hope all the person’s that are in self isolation are safe and that God protect them .

  6. Nurses usually are in direct contact with these patients, who is talking about them? What about the ward attendants and cleaners who were also attending to the patients? Contact tracing involves them all. Please it’s important they also are considered as all lives are important. lying about a travel history? that’s the height of wickedness! You put even your own family at risk. Let us all be careful. Kudos to all front liners, May our efforts not be in vain

  7. Federal government should provide welfare package for we Health Workers as we are prone to real serious health hazard. Yet, at the end of each month government paid us just N5,000 (Five thousand Naira) only as our Health Hazard allowance. May God continue to protect us even as we care for other people.

  8. This claims further exposed the inadequacies in our health research institutions like UBTH. The right facilities and PPE are not just there. If you have done tests there you will understand better. Our health institutions needs total overhauling. If 25 doctors are in high risk of contracting it there, imagined all other unclassified group unknown who would have come in contact with those people and close family members. For God sake, why would patients lie about their travel history? That means they have the intention of free spreading the virus. They are very very wicked. Let hospital workers be more careful. Rely on your tests and life observations, know when a patient lied. Chinyere Chinenye, take note the only hospital for diagonising Covid-19 in Edo State is at Irrua and currently we have only 5 centres in Nigeria. 2 in Lagos state, one Abuja, one in Enugu state and the one at Irrua. Just 5 in the whole country. May God help us. UBTH couldn’t have done better.

  9. The front liners should see all patients are COVID 19 positive and should therefore take utmost precautionary measures.

  10. Covid-19 test is done in 2 phases: the first which is the initial preliminary test and the second which is the confirmatory test. If the first and second tests results come out negative, the patient is said to be negative. If any of the test results is positive, the patient is said to be positive. The initial test result may come out negative hence the need for the confirmatory test… For more accurate results. Everyone just need to be very careful, especially healthcare workers.

  11. This is so unfortunate! I wonder why they lied about their travel history at the detriment of the doctors and other hospital staff. The heart of man is indeed wicked!
    I pray for the safety and well being of all front line workers.

  12. At a time like this all medical personnel should treat all patients presenting as potential Covid patients.
    Secondly, from research not only blood test can confirm the status of this deadly disease, hence a patient should not be confirmed declared positive or negative until all results are ready. And also should be made to complete the 14 days isolation period as well.

    Lastly why do we have only Dr’s on Isolation, are they the only ones that attend to the patients? Why are other paramedics staff that attended to them not also on isolation. Let’s treat them all same way. They all have families.

  13. My dearest care givers,I must say thank you for all the endless effort you put in to save lives.Again sorry for this pain you all are going through as a result of the negligence of theose in authorities and aswell the the various group of persons who ran the initial test at Irrua. To the family of these patients you guys are very wicked and the truth is you will pay for these you have brought upon Edo state and Benin city in particular.
    My advice to tbe state governor is to lock down Edo state ,like every other state is doing now just to be able to contain the spread of this epidemic in Edo state.weither we like it or not 14 days from today which is the proven set time of incubation of the disease according to scientist,alot of cases will be discovered and if not manage properly ,souls will go. Let everyone adhere to the instruction,by watching our hands regularly and stay at home for now. Together we will defeat this disease.

  14. At this time, and as preached always treat every patient as positive until proven otherwise and practice personal protection
    UBTH should know this and I am sure they are doing that. Let’s pray more patients don’t get infected from these unfortunate cases

  15. Convid-19 is no joking matter. This is a matter of life and death. This is war. All Cadre of health workers ought as a matter of urgency and priority be protected as they’re at the frontline of the battle.

    If the CMD of UBTH has a known history of negligence or lack of appropriate commitment to the care of his staff, he should immediately be stepped down, and replaced with a more competent doctor/administrator that would motivate, inspire and attract the respect of the staff and personnel of the institution. NO SENTIMENTS. Without the right motivation and availability of ‘weapons’ to fight this war, hands and hearts would be weakened unto losing.

    For crying out loud, I am shocked that there’s no means of testing at UBTH except Irrua.

  16. Very unfortunate. May the soul of the deceased, rest in perfect peace. Amen. What we must learn from this is that whoever must attend to or visit any patient must assume that the patient is COVID-19 positive. So must be dressed and kitted as if attending to one. We take a whole lot of things for granted especially contagious diseases. May God continue to help us, through Christ our Lord, Amen.

  17. This is really sad…why is no one talking about the nurses and other health workers involved though? I bet there are more nurses because these people run 3 shifts in a day,(male Medical ward, renal unit, icu) up to 3nurses on every shift..
    This is too much, UBTH isn’t prepared for this,, every health worker out there better start protecting themselves and treat every case as infectious unless proven otherwise..
    The relatives have better got a damn good explanation for this or get sued..they just risked the lives of over a 100 persons,,,those people went home to their families,boarded vehicles before the results came out positive…
    Everyone out there better stay home.

  18. The relations and the patient themselves didn’t do well they would have discard the fear of not having to be attended to by the medical expert and save lives by disclosing their traveling abroad. May the Almighty God forgive them their grievous sins heal and protect those who in one way or the other must have got in contact with them in Jesus name amen.

  19. The events in ubth about covid-19 and the doctors,the nurses and the attendants plus cleaners are most unfortunate and regrettable.
    1 the patients that came with their relatives are deceitful, wicked and greedy in nature. exposing your travel history is to enable the innocent medical staff know exactly where to commence work to ensure survival of the patients .yet this was not disclosed by the patients nor by their relatives,who can not claim ignorance in this matter. most unfortunate.
    We pray there is no empidemic in Benin and its environments.
    2. God our father Jehovah in the highest heavens,I pray unto you God for your divine intervention at the situation in ubth right now. Father,pls take control and ensure the survival of all affected,doctors, nurses,cleaners attendants ijcmn amen .pls make the authorities there know what to do at this particular moments ijmn amen.


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