Lagos running out of bed spaces, FG raises alarm; mulls community mgt, home isolation - ESUT PARROT

Lagos running out of bed spaces, FG raises alarm; mulls community mgt, home isolation

The Federal Government said yesterday it was considering issuing a new set of guidelines with regards to COVID-19 case management in the country, saying Lagos State, Nigeria’s epicentre of the pandemic, has currently ran out of isolation and treatment spaces.

Government also expressed concerns over the growing purchases of Hydroxychloroquine by Nigerians, warning against self-medication in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it again warned states against relaxing the containment protocols, the Federal Government apologised to essential workers, particularly journalists and medical professionals, who have had to bear the brunt of police brutality during the enforcement of COVID-19 curfew.

These were disclosed yesterday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19.

Inadequate Spaces

Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC, Dr Chikwe Iheakwazu, said with the new cases in Lagos, the state has ran out of spaces, adding that government was considering a new case management strategy.

He said as opposed to its initial protocol of patients having to test negative twice before they were discharged, such persons would now be discharged after testing negative to one test.

Iheakwazu said: “The only reason we are isolating asymptomatic patients is to prevent them from transmitting to others. In many countries in the world, when this outbreak just broke out, they carried out a very similar policy. They treated all the severe cases in hospital and isolated every person infected in the temporary isolation centres, some of which you saw being built in 10 days or two weeks.

Inadequate surveillance in states

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire regretted that Nigeria was not maximizing its daily testing capacity of 2, 500 as less than 1, 500 tests are currently conducted daily due to inadequate surveillance and contact tracing in states.

He said: “We now have 26 laboratories spread in 17 states. This has increased our testing capacity. However, while our daily testing capacity is presently at 2,500, unfortunately, we are presently able to test less than 1,500. This is due largely to inadequate surveillance and contact tracing in the states. As more laboratories come on board, I would like to use this opportunity to call on state governments to increase the number of surveillance teams so that more testing can be done in the laboratories.”

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