The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, has said the state has commenced plans to execute home-based treatment for mild and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, while severe cases will be managed at the isolation centres.
Mr Abayomi said this on Friday during a press briefing at the State Secretariat.
He also warned that private health facilities should not manage COVID-19 cases without the approval of the state government as this is illegal.
The commissioner said home-based care is necessitated by the increasing number of positive cases in the community which is a result of the increase in testing capacity.
He added that with the increasing number of positive cases, the possibility of running short of bed spaces in isolation facilities cannot be ruled out making it imperative to opt for home-based care for people who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic to the infection.
‘’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,” he said.
Mr Abayomi said the process will be duly monitored, noting that mild and asymptotic patients “may turn moderate or severe and will require intensive management.”
He added that patients receiving home-based care will be provided with a COVID-19 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 COVID-19 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.
Addressing the issue of private health facilities managing COVID-19 patients, the commissioner said it is illegal if they do not have the approval of the state.
The commissioner disclosed that only three private hospitals have already been accredited to manage COVID-19 cases stressing that “one is already admitting patients and the other two will soon start admission and management of patients”.
“They 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.
“We are just in the process of issuing them with accreditation certificate so that they can start managing COVID-19 patients in the private sector. Even if they are managing COVID-19 in the private sector, it still comes under the supervision of the Lagos State Government Ministry of Health,” Mr Abayomi said.
“If you are managing COVID-19 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.
“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,” he said.
As of Friday, Lagos has performed over 22,000 tests, while the state is ramping up its testing capacity from 1000 tests per day to about 2000, the Commissioner said.
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