The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said about 80 per cent of cases are being managed outside the isolation centres designated for treatment.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, while speaking at the daily PTF briefing on Thursday said this is due to lack of adequate bed spaces in isolation centres across Nigeria.
“I know about 80 per cent of those that are positive in the country are currently being managed outside isolation facilities.
”The availability of beds varies across states. Some states have a lot of capacity in terms of beds. I know Kano, Lagos have run out of beds, ” he said.
The federal government had earlier hinted that the country lacks adequate bed spaces to accommodate COVID-19 patients in isolation centres across states.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, said the country was considering home-care treatment for COVID-19 patients.
To further free up isolation centres, the government said it may consider discharging COVID-19 patients earlier than their required treatment and isolation period, even though they are still positive.
It also said schools and hotels may be used as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients if the need arises
As of June 10, a total of 13,873 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in Nigeria. Although 4,351 persons have been successfully treated and discharged,382 deaths have been recorded.
Meanwhile, at the briefing, Mr Ihekweazu said GeneXpert machines would be used to test for COVID-19 cases beginning from June 14.
“We are ready to do that GeneXpert labs in locations and will start functioning on June 14.
“We have been working hard over the last two weeks to distribute the cartridges to the first seven centres to train them to make sure they are ready and on the 14th they will start testing,” he said.
He however decried the poor turnout of test samples from all states in the country.
He noted that although the available laboratories could test up to 10,000 samples per day, they were only working at about 10 to 20 percent of their capacity.
“Our labs are working at 10 to 20 percent capacity, we can test about 10,000 samples per day probably more if we had pushed hard.
“The labs are there, the samples are not coming in as sufficiently as we want. We have this weekend for every state to push harder,” he said.
On rising COVID-19 cases, Mr Ihekweazu said the development was not unusual but expected, due to the eased restriction of movement in parts of the country.
”As we have eased the restriction that we have instituted across the country, we have expected the numbers to increase. We have announced it several times to expect an increase in numbers. So, this increase in numbers is not unusual.
“As we increase testing and relax the lockdown, this is a virus that goes from one individual to the other, therefore, it is most likely that we will see an increase in numbers. Whether that increase continues or not depends on our collective action.
“Sometimes, these numbers are necessary to remind us of the reality, ” he said.