News reports say the two cities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – Lagos and Abuja have shut down their treatment and Isolation centers.
The Lagos State Government has reportedly closed down its 554-bed isolation centres following the decline in COVID-19 cases in the state and the fact that Nigerians had opted for home treatment than present themselves at COVID-19 test centres.
It was gathered that except for the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba which is active, the remaining COVID-19 treatment venues, including the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Agidingbi, Onikan, Gbagada, Indo and Landmark isolation centres have been shut. The Indo Isolation Centre at Ajao Estate was the last centre to be closed on March 30.
The Chief Medical Director, UATH, Prof Bishop Ekele, confirmed this in a chat with Saturday PUNCH saying “We thank God that things (cases) are beginning to drop. The doctors’ strike has no effect on our facility. Usually, it is those that need oxygen that are brought to us. We have just about four patients and hopefully they might soon be discharged.”
The Chairman, Medical Sub-Committee of the COVID-19 Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee in Abuja, Dr Ejike Oji, also said:
“It is true that severe infections have dropped but this is not the time for complacency. If you recall when we witnessed a drop late last year, people threw caution to the wind. What we have learnt about COVID-19 is that the virus mutates. We saw how the second wave came. There could be a third wave if we are not careful.”
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, told Saturday PUNCH that the drop in the rate of infections showed that the strategies adopted by the government were working.
“It shows that our strategies are working. If the rate of infection is dropping, it shows we are doing something right,” the minister said.
A senior CACOVID official who pleaded anonymity confirmed the suspension of operation in the isolation centres, noting that a handful of the flagship hospitals were still allowed to run a holding bay.
The official added, “Aside from IDH, all the isolation centres are closed, but hospitals such as Gbagada, LASUTH, LUTH and Federal Medical Centre at Ebute Metta still have their holding bays or COVID-19 wards as most people call it. These are for the treatment of people with unusual infectious disease and suspected cases of COVID-19.”