The Federal Government again warned unauthorised health facilities not to handle Coronavirus (COVIDCOVID-19) cases because it is highly contagious.
Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health, have the warning on Wednesday in Abuja , during the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), daily briefing on COVID19 in the country.
“The COVID-19 is extremely dangerous pathogen, which spread very easily.
“It is not advisable to accept these kind of patients for treatment.
“The Committee on Infectious Disease Experts assembled by the Federal Ministry of Health (FHoH) for standardisation and safety of frontline staff and other patients.
“Health workers and other patients and visitors will otherwise be put at great risk,” he said.
The minister said that those who tested positive for COVID-19 must report to designated treatment centre for safe isolation and care, even if they feel well, because the danger of the disease was that those who do not have any symptoms were still as infectious as those with symptoms and needed to be isolated, for the sake of their families, friends and the public.
He disclosed that the government was engaging the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria and the Guild of Medical Directors to adequately engage their members accordingly.
He, however noted that unauthorised management of this disease and compromise of medical ethics could aggravate the public health emergency at community level and place national security in jeopardy.
He stressed that the private and public health managers must not reject to reported cases but should always follow the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), guidelines.
“I urge all health workers to apply Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols always and maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19.
“The resources on NCDC COVID-19 website covid19.ncdc.gov.ng, including national case definition guidelines, are being constantly updated,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the minister said that as the global community commemorated World Health Day yesterday; “ I thank our health workers for their commitment, hard work and sacrifice in the response to this pandemic that has drastically changed the pace and style of life.
Mamora said that through training, provision of guidelines and Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), the government would continue to enhance the understanding and capacity of the frontline workers for this novel disease.
“To health workers I say, “Your well-being is a priority to us, and we cannot thank you enough for the work that you do in protecting the health of Nigerians,” he commended.
The minister strongly advice Nigerians against giving false information of symptoms or travel history to healthcare workers, when seeking care, at this critical time.
He noted that doing so puts the health of health professionals at risk of infection and also deprives them of comprehensive information to properly diagnose and manage illnesses.
Mamora said that as of April 8, 2020, Nigeria recorded 254 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“Lagos remains the epicentre with 130, with 50 cases in FCT, 20 in Osun, 11 in Edo, 11 in Oyo, 6 in Bauchi, 5 each in Akwa Ibom and Kaduna, 4 in Ogun, 2 each in Enugu, Ekiti, Kwara and Rivers, and 1 each in Benue, Delta, Katsina and Ondo,” he said.
Meanwhile, he noted that the spike in Osun was linked to the arrival of Nigerians to that State from ECOWAS countries.
“Several groups of Nigerians have made similar intentions known to return.
“Those discharged from treatment are 44 of which seven are from the UATH centre. We unfortunately have six COVID19 related fatalities in total.
“There are presently 204 active cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. The DG of NCDC will give further details,” he said.
The minister said that there were nine laboratories for testing as at today for COVID-19, to be augmented over time by other laboratories in the public and private sector in the country.