Nigeria: Private hospitals in Lagos barred from admitting patients with Covid-19 symptoms

London, April 8, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Lagos state government, South West Nigeria has barred private hospitals across the state from admitting patients with Covid-19 symptoms according to report by Today Nigeria

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The Nigerian publication reports that the state commissioner of health, Akin Abayomi, said that although cases of Covid-19  were rising in Lagos, the rate of increase was still within the pace health workers could control.

The Lagos state commissioner of health, Akin Abayomi, says private hospitals across the state are not yet allowed to treat Covid-19 patients. When asked questions about a patient who recently died in a private hospital reportedly due to Covid-19, Abayomi explained that the death was not unusual and it could have resulted from pneumonia.

“There are several other possible causes of pneumonia. So, when a patient is admitted into a private hospital with respiratory tract infections, most of the time, it is not Covid-19, we have to test and in the process of testing, if it is Covid-19, we will then try and move the patient to the recognised and accredited isolation facility.

“We are not encouraging the private sector to manage Covid-19 at this point in time for a number of reasons. It is still an issue of the state and national security that cases of Covid-19 are managed in recognised facilities.

“However, patients with pneumonia can be treated in a private hospital, but as soon as we know they are positive, we will endeavour to move them as fast as possible to an isolation facility. That is not always so easy, especially if the case is developing complications and they are requiring ventilation,” he was quoted saying.

Abayomi added that Lagos state has concluded plans to start Covid-19 clinical trial in partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) and other institutions.

“There are a lot of researches going on around the world, so it is possible that at some time in the near future, we will have what we may describe as a definitive cure for Covid-19. 

“Indeed we are setting up our own clinical trials in Lagos in collaboration with other institutions and the NCDC and hopefully, by this time next week, we should have started some clinical trials on our patients and on our staff in Lagos state.

“We have three testing sites in Lagos and we are looking to activate some other sites. The current three are; Lagos State Biobank at Yaba Mainland Hospital, the department of virology in Lagos University teaching hospital and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research,” he was quoted saying.
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