The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is currently “struggling” for bed spaces for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Lagos state which has the highest number of persons infected by coronavirus in Nigeria.
There are 947 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos alone and 187 of these patients have been discharged after recovering from the disease.
Speaking the briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Thursday, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of NCDC, said efforts are being made to change strategy in order not to allow the inadequate bed spaces affect the fight against coronavirus.
“Lagos is the only place where we are struggling with bed spaces for now. We will always tells Nigerians the truth. We are struggling with bed spaces in Lagos for now,” he said.
The isolation centers in Lagos are at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and at Onikan Stadium.
Ihekweazu also said the agency has adopted a new measure to make testing more effective, appealing to Nigerians for support.
“We are in the process of scaling up testing across the country and the key component that has changed in this is that in Lagos, Abuja and Kano, instead of waiting for people to call us, we are now going to where the patients are, so we have setup specific testing locations and of course in collaboration and under the leadership of the state in these three states to increase the samples collected from cases that actually do meet the case definition,” he said.
“So, we are going into the communities, health centres to identify those with these case definition and bring them in. We are doing this because we are certain that we have ongoing community transmission especially in these three cities. We have to adapt our response to this situation. We adapted to the circumstances in every state, every city where the nature of transmission changes.
“These changes means that more and more people will be going into the community. We really need Nigerians to support the work that they do and not stigmatise them. Currently, we are living with COVID-19, but not the way we thought about it during the HIV era. This is about communities. How can we as a country manage this as we transit into the next weeks? As we release the guidelines for implementing the non pharmaceutical intervention that will be released very soon, we are doing this in the context of rising cases. We have to recognise that we still have cases and we have start up some level of activity.”
As of Wednesday, Nigeria had recorded 1,728 cases of coronavirus.