The Lagos State government has said the late chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, died at First Cardiology Consultants, a private hospital located in Ikoyi.
This is a confirmation of PREMIUM TIMES’ earlier exclusive report on the development. But the hospital had refuted the claim, describing it as a “false allegation.”
The Lagos State commissioner for health, Akin Abayomi, on Saturday evening said the confirmation was in response to enquiries by concerned individuals and authorities on the health facility that managed the former chief of staff.
The commissioner said; “Following enquiries on the passing away of the Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mallam Abba Kyari on Friday 17th April 2020, the Lagos State Government states that:
“Mallam Abba Kyari died from complications of Coronavirus infection at First Cardiology Consultants in Lagos. This hospital is a Lagos State designated high care, biosecurity-compliant, COVID-19 facility, accredited by the Health Facility Management and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) of the Lagos State Ministry of Health.”
The statement added that as a basis for its accreditation, the private hospital “established a separate specialist wing with staff dedicated to the treatment of complicated cases of COVID-19, under the supervision of the Lagos State COVID-19 emergency response team.”
However, this is contrary to the earlier position of the health minister, Osagie Ehanire, in his response to enquiries on whether any private hospital had been accredited for the management of Covid-19 or not.
Mr. Ehanire said there was no private hospital managing confirmed cases of Coronavirus disease in the country.
Speaking on Friday on the matter during the daily press briefing of the presidential task force on Covid-19, the minister said the management of the disease is difficult and can overwhelm private facilities due to technicalities involved in the management of the pandemic.
He said; “As at today, there is no private hospital that has been accredited to manage Covid-19 case in Nigeria. There is none in Abuja here that I know of. But I think Lagos is looking at some accredited hospitals and there is one large hospital in Lagos that has called me that it wants to become a Coronavirus treatment centre.
“Now the structure of the hospital is that they are ready to remove all the present patients they have there and do nothing but Coronavirus. That will be good because they don’t stand the risk of cross-infection. But if you as a private hospital want to run Coronavirus management, you have to show that you have a doctor who is an infectious disease specialist, nurses and even cleaners who are trained. This is because handling infectious hospital is different from handling others. They need to be trained in infection prevention and protocols.
“…The facility would then be inspected by a team of accreditors who will give you the go-ahead to do it. But while it is not prohibited, there is no hospital that has met those criteria at the moment.”
Speaking earlier on Thursday, the minister had threatened that any private hospital found to be treating Covid-19 patients run the risk of being shut down.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State government had also been evasive in its response on the whereabouts of the former chief of staff. The government failed to respond to enquiries by our reporter on the matter.