The Federal Government on Thursday hinted that hotels and schools will be considered for use as isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19 patient, should dormitories existing institutional centres across the country get overwhelmed.
Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said: “In event of overflow, we can require hotels, school dormitories, etc., to be prepared for level 1 (Quarantine) and level 2 (Isolation of COVID-19 positive with zero or mild symptoms). This is so as to free hospital beds to be dedicated to level 3 (moderate to severe cases) and level 4 (high dependency and Intensive care unit).
“I therefore, call on activists and philanthropists to work with State governments in concerted steps to scale up non-pharmaceutical measures and beef up infrastructural assets for isolation and treatment in their states.
“We are, not surprisingly, worried about the increasing number of COVID-19 confirmed cases; first because every life matters, but also because of the capacity of our health system to cope. Nigeria presently has over 112 treatment and isolation centres in the 35 states and FCT with over 5,000 beds, but not all States have made it up to at least 300 beds prescribed for isolation and treatment.”
Ehanire added: “I had the privilege of commissioning one such center yesterday, a re-purposed hospital in Benin City, Edo State, with 300 beds, including ICU and an Edo State owned PCR testing laboratory. We need to continue increasing bed capacity to match the probable number of patients, so that we do not experience horrific scenes of bed space shortages seen in some European hospitals.
“Though we are in the community transmission phase of response, easing social restrictions is desirable, but only if we can meet up with expectations that will not allow a spike in infection rates. This is what has led certain countries to reintroduce lockdowns. We are reviewing health sector specific advisories on re-opening the economy