The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof akin Abayomi Friday disclosed that three private hospitals have already been accredited to manage COVID19 cases even as he said plans are on top gear for the commencement of home-based management of asymptomatic and mild cases. Abayomi who disclosed while giving an update on COVID19 management said one of the hospitals has started admitting patients while the other two will soon start admission and management of patients. He said: “The hospitals have passed the biosecurity compliance test. They have made modifications to their hospitals so that their staff and other patients are not put in danger or exposed to a higher risk of contracting COVID19”. “Those private hospitals have passed the test and we are just in the process of issuing them with accreditation certificate so that they can start managing COVID19 patients in the private sector”.
However, even if they are managing COVID19 in the private sector, it still comes under the supervision of the Lagos State Government Ministry of Health.”, Abayomi said. He further explained that the State government is working on parameters to integrate home-based care to the isolation strategy, adding that asymptomatic and mild cases will now be managed at home rather than at the Isolation centres. Abayomi noted that home-based care is necessitated by the increasing numbers of positive cases in the community which is a result of the increase in a testing capacity. The Commissioner said that with the increasing numbers of positive cases, the possibility of running short of bed spaces in isolation facilities cannot be ruled out, hence, the need for home-based care. Abayomi announced that more attention will be paid to patients with moderate and severe cases and manage such cases at the Isolation centres to avoid complications. His words: “’ We are going to define who can be managed at home and who can be managed in an isolation facility. It is a bit of a simple decision. If you are asymptomatic you qualify to be managed at home simply because most people in that category will naturally get well without any medical intervention. After all if you are not feeling any symptom you may not know you have COVID19, nothing happens to you and you may clear the virus after seven to 10 days”. “The people we want to pay more attention to are the moderate to severe ones because they are not suitable for home-based care.’’ The Commissioner however noted home-based care for asymptomatic and mild patients will be strictly monitored stressing an asymptomatic patient can turn mild and Abayomi said a mild patient may turn moderate or even severe which will require management at an Isolation facility if such is the case. He stated that patients receiving home-based care will be provided with a COVID19 pack with which they can monitor their body temperature, measure their oxygen level, and be given certain vitamins and pain-relieving drugs to manage themselves. ‘’When we manage you at home we are going to monitor you. We will call you by phone, people will come and visit you, your family members can call us. With our developed EkoTelemed, we can have a consultation with you in your house without us coming. We are going to give you COVID19 pack where you can measure your temperature, oxygen level, give you certain vitamins and pain killers so that you can have a comfortable time while you are isolating at home’’, he said. On COVID-19 testing capacity, Abayomi said testing capacity is being ramped up noting that the State now has the capacity to perform 1000 tests per day and working at raising the capacity to 2000 or 3000 per day so that everybody that needs testing or wishes to be tested can get tested. “If you look at our data, we have performed over 22, 000 tests in Lagos so far. We are increasing our capacity to carry out more tests every day” “Very soon the rate at which we are testing will keep rising and don’t be alarmed because the more we test, the more cases we’ll find”, he said.
Abayomi classified as illegal the management of COVID19 patients by private facilities in the state without the knowledge and approval of the State government. The Commissioner stressed that every COVID19 patient in the state must be known to the government for adequate data capturing. “If you are managing COVID19 without government permission and we are not capturing your cases in our database, you are performing an illegal act according to the laws of Lagos State. “So if you want to manage COVID19 in Lagos State, we are not saying you cannot. All you need to do is to submit an application and we will visit your facility to ensure that you have the required equipment and specialised personnel to manage COVID19 cases. If you can demonstrate that you can do all these then we will give you the approval to manage the disease”. “Also, information about every patient managed by the hospitals must be made available to us so that we can record it in our database”. “COVID19 remains a public crisis and all public crises are managed and supervised by the Lagos state government and by extension the federal government of Nigeria.”