Nigeria worries over inadequate facilities to manage Covid-19 - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Nigeria worries over inadequate facilities to manage Covid-19


As cases of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to soar, Nigeria has reported that a dearth of oxygen and bed spaces at isolation centres are hindering management of the disease in the country. 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) registered 749 new Covid-19 infections on December 29, 2020 after the country tested 937,712 people since the first case was reported in the country on February 27. 

On Wednesday, NCDC said the total number of infections in the country is now 85,560. 

Thousands recovered

The centre stated that 71,937 patients had recovered from the virus and discharged as 580 new patients were discharged from isolation centres across the country.

It noted that the death toll from the disease in the country had increased by three, raising the total number of deaths to 1,267. 

The increase in cases has put Nigeria in trouble as many state governments fail to enforce safety protocols, especially on social gatherings, which people fail to obey.

Every night, we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care.

NCDC director-general Chikwe Ihekweazu said during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 that treatment centres were filling up, and “we are struggling to keep up. We are struggling to find oxygen to manage cases”. 

“Every night, we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care. So, unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us. It will be tough, but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do,” he said. 

“We have been liaising with governors to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have agreed on collectively. We have seen some of them doing that, but many of the states have not; they pretend as if there will be no consequence.’’ 

Dr Ihekweazu warned Nigerians to brace themselves for worse in January because people were not complying with measures to contain the spread of the disease. 

Critical issues

The Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, Boss Mustapha, said the task force is working on critical issues including oxygen supply and case management, taking into consideration the increasing number of infections and hospitalisation. 

He noted that despite resources being made available to the states across the country, testing had remained very low, and that this is not helping the national response even as some states had not reported any infections in several weeks. 

Minister for State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, said: “All Federal Tertiary Hospitals who run levels 2 and 3 isolation centres have been directed to improve/scale-up Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures to improve on treatment outcomes and enhance the safety of the frontline health personnel. 

“This is coming at the backdrop of the recent upsurge in the affected health workers and the unfortunate demise of some’’.

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