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COVID-19: NCDC Overwhelmed as FG Considers Home Treatment of Patients

The federal government yesterday expressed concern about the rising cases of COVID-19, saying with the high prospect of patients outstripping the 3,500-bed spaces available in the country, it might consider home care treatment.

Public health analysts had advised the federal government to prepare for a second lockdown on the projection that the pandemic incidence might climb to about 280,000 with 8,400 deaths in three months.

The analysts hinged their projections on the average infection rate of 14 per cent of tested persons, which stood at 1,532 of 10,918 as of Tuesday. They warned that with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) target of two million people in three months, confirmed cases might be in the region of 280,000.

Confirmed cases have been on the upward trend since the warning. Last night, NCDC put the daily rise at 204, bringing the tally to 1,932 with 319 discharged and 58 dead.

It said the new 204 cases were reported from 18 states- Kano 80, Lagos 45, Gombe 12, Sokoto nine, Bauchi nine, Edo seven, Borno seven, Rivers six, Ogun six, FCT four, Akwa Ibom four, Bayelsa four, Kaduna three, Oyo two, Delta two, Nasarawa two, Ondo one and Kebbi one.

Acknowledging the gloomy immediate future, the federal government raised the alarm yesterday that rise in the incidences of the disease was threatening to overwhelm its facilities.

It, therefore, said it was intensifying talks with hoteliers in the epicentres of COVID-19, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Ogun and Kano, on the possibility of converting their facilities to isolation centres to complement the 3,500-bed spaces on the ground across the country.

The federal government also expressed worry over the rising of patients trying to run away from isolation centres and said it was in talks with the military to provide security for the centres.

Speaking at the daily press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, told reporters that the country only had about 3,500-bed spaces only for COVID-19 management, adding that in Lagos, the epicentre of the pandemic, its capacity was being stretched.

He said the development might force the federal government to manage patients at homes by sending healthcare workers to treat them.

He said: “There is no doubt about it. We are struggling in some places, especially Lagos and to an extent in Kano and Abuja too. But the biggest challenge right now is Lagos where bed spaces are really tight.



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