COVID-19 instances climb to 22 as FG embargoes worldwide flights

How Low Attention To Taraba-Cameroon Land Border May Fuel Spread
• FG Gives Conditions For Inter-state Train Services
• Isolation Centres Not Enough
• Nigeria Must Invest In Epidemic Preparedness — Faduyile

Yesterday’s affirmation of 10 new instances of Coronavirus (COVID-19), which pushed the general variety of optimistic instances within the nation to 22, has sounded the alarm that the nation may very well be on the best way to going through a dire well being disaster within the weeks forward.

Should that occur, the nation’s poor healthcare system may expertise shutdown inside days making the well timed containment of the lethal illness tough.

Indeed, there are palpable fears that with solely 5 check centres serving the over 200 million Nigerians, and the lower than convincing state on many intensive care models in designated and tertiary hospitals, containing the unfold of the virus could show a Herculean activity.

Announcing the 10 new instances of coronavirus, (seven in Lagos and three within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, stated the an infection was now in three states – Lagos, Ekiti, and Ogun, in addition to the FCT. The three new instances within the FCT (two males and one feminine) all returned to the nation between March 14 and 18. Only certainly one of them has been in self-isolation.

According to Ehanire, all the brand new instances are Nigerians, including that each one however certainly one of them have journey historical past to the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Spain Canada, and France. They all returned one week in the past. The 10th is an in depth contact of a beforehand confirmed case.

Of the 22 instances, Ehanire, who stated Lagos performs host to 16; FCT, 3; Ekiti, 1, and Ogun, 2,” added that two of the sufferers have been discharged, and that “all cases are clinically stable and receiving adequate care”.

In their warnings that Coronavirus could quickly shut down the nation’s healthcare system if it’s not hurriedly contained, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, and his counterpart on the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Adedayo Faduyile, informed The Guardian, yesterday, that on the charge it was going, the affect of the virus may very well be catastrophic and endemic on the well being sector.

   
Ohuabunwa stated: “Currently the impact is phenomenal, but could potentially become catastrophic. Firstly, we are aware that China and India, Nigeria’s major sources of raw materials, medical equipment and finished pharmaceuticals are currently ‘out of business.’ So, shortages are already occurring and will become increasingly serious as the pandemic subsists. That means that pharmaceutical importers and Manufacturers are already experiencing reduced activity, which may lead to a cutback in operations and manpower redundancies.    
 
“Secondly, with the increasing scarcity, prices of medicaments, especially those related to managing the infection are inching up and that may fuel inflation and reduce the purchasing power of the ordinary citizens and perhaps, limit their ability to take preventive measures.
 
“Thirdly, should the shortages persist much longer, there may be a resurgence in the incidence of substandard and falsified medicines. It has long been established that scarcity of medicines is one of the key motivators of fake medicines.
 
“Fourthly, with increasing cases of Coronavirus infection in the country, our health infrastructure and facilities, which are fragile in normal times, may crack with increased pressure with dire consequences. More so, with limited emergency medicine, and critical care space. Our hope and prayer are that the infection is contained in the urban areas because should they reach our semi-urban and rural areas, the mortality will go out of hand,” he acknowledged.
 
On his half, Faduyile, informed The Guardian: “This is the time to further strengthen Nigeria’s core capacities to respond to public health emergencies. Therefore, the Federal Government and their partners must invest in epidemic preparedness and health safety to promote and protect its people and avert the negative socio-economic impact associated with outbreaks.”

According to him, with no vaccine or therapy, the simplest approach to cease COVID-19’s unfold was to restrict person-to-person transmission by figuring out contaminated people as shortly as attainable, and isolating them for therapy earlier than they infect others, including that this technique labored towards the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003.

   
He urged the Federal Government to strictly implement the worldwide commonplace routine screening of each traveller on the nation’s main worldwide airports and seaports.

Dearth Of Treatment Facilities
Abuja hosts two important services so far as the struggle towards COVID-19 is anxious. But a fortnight in the past, Ehanire informed newsmen that the isolation centre at Gwagwalada can be prepared in April, including that funds permitted for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had been disbursed to enhance the Isolation Centre in Abuja with the contractor requested to fast-track the improve of the ability.

However, when The Guardian visited the isolation unit on the National Hospital, Abuja on Friday, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dr. Tayo Hasstrup, stated that the hospital had accomplished the renovation and upgrading of the unit. 

The unit has an elevator devoted to it although which solely sufferers entry the centre whereas the neat-looking air-conditioned rooms are all en-suite and outfitted with oxygen panels. 

Also, the isolation unit is provided with high-tech safety devices, whereas the motion of individuals round it’s extremely restricted.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, who additionally heads the federal government CMD’s Committee Team on COVID-19, Dr. Jaff Momoh, informed The Guardian that regardless that the National Hospital isn’t an isolation hospital, it has put in place 5 rooms, that are all en-suite to function isolation unit if the arises. 

Momoh defined that every affected person is entitled to his personal room, his personal care services, together with a ventilator, including that the hospital has the private protecting gear that might be utilized by the personnel. 

According to him, about 15 nurses, 5 medical doctors and different personnel have been educated and deployed to man the unit whereas common coaching can be organised for all of the employees of the hospital. 

Kano In Need Of Intensive Care Upgrade
IF Kano State data optimistic instances of COVID-19, it could be a frightening activity to handle them within the state as the key tertiary well being facility there, the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) seems to be in want of primary services in its intensive care unit.

The AKTH’s ICU presently has solely 5 respirators, one vital life assist machine, amongst different services, and responding to the wants of an affordable variety of COVID-19 sufferers would fully floor the ability. All three suspected instances of COVID-19 in Kano State examined destructive.

But a senior medical officer within the hospital, who prefers to stay nameless stated the hospital possesses the manpower required to handle the viral illness, including that the Federal Government should, nevertheless, make sources accessible to it.

“You see for any facility to handle such a viral illness, such a facility must be enlisted by the Federal Ministry of Health, which will even present all of the services wanted to handle the illness.

“Apart from AKTH, no facility in the North has the capacity to test and manage Coronavirus. And it is not as if the management is rocket science. At AKTH, we have well-trained doctors and medical officers, who can offer their expertise, but in this kind of situation, you need government intervention.”

Wear And Tear At UPTH ICU
EQUIPMENT on the ICU of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), which got here stream through the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo has skilled some type of put on and tear, whereas some are not practical on account of poor upkeep tradition. Some have turn into completely out of date.

When The Guardian visited the ability, yesterday, it was found that the affected person monitor is not practical.

Findings additionally revealed that the unit is in dire want of ventilators, respirators, and a central monitor.

According to high administration employees within the unit who craved anonymity, “When the ICU commenced operations in 2005, it was circuited in a way that all patients were connected to the central monitor. So, everything about patients were displayed on the central monitor and that enhanced service delivery because the nurse or doctor could take up a patient and do whatever he wants. But such is no longer functional today because the equipment is not working again, and it has affected the speed of work at the ICU.”

Dr. Opusunji Tamuno, a guide paediatrician stated the federal government must equip the ability with ventilators and respirators and so on. in order that any case of COVID-19 can be efficiently managed.

No Test Centre In Rivers
ON why the state doesn’t have a illness management centre and COVID-19 testing centre, the Director, Public Health and Disease Control, Golden Owhonda, stated it’s not the variety of testing centres established in a state that issues, however how a lot effort is being put in place to comprise the virus.

UNTH Announces Readiness
THE University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu prides itself as a medical facility with a number of the greatest services in Africa, with an ICU that’s “very effective and responsive, and which has continued to perform open-heart surgeries, brain surgeries and other complex cases.”

As the nation battles the COVID-19 scourge, officers on the hospital’s ICU say they’re prepared and ready to undertake instances if known as upon to take action since consultants there have dealt with complicated points and have continued to excel in them.

Speaking to The Guardian on the event and the nation’s readiness to deal with the medical emergency, a Development Economist, Dr. Chiwuike Uba, acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic had as soon as once more uncovered Nigeria’s unpreparedness to deal with emergencies; particularly, medical emergencies.

“This clearly is a reflection of our resort to ad hoc and interventionist approaches to resolving fundamental problems. Given what the country witnessed during the Ebola epidemic and the recurring Lassa fever episodes, it is very disheartening to note that all Nigeria has at the moment for testing of Coronavirus is only a few centres. Unfortunately, the available diagnostic centres are not evenly cited for efficiency and effectiveness,” he stated.

According to him, “ the distance between the centres from the catchment states, in addition to posing reputational risks, presents even a worse medical risk to the people. Let me rephrase this. The distance exposes the sample and the medical personnel (including people along the roads leading to diagnostic centre) to risks. They may contract the disease while taking the sample for confirmation. Furthermore, the inherent distance may delay treatment and even subject the suspected carrier to inhuman treatment.” 

Isolation Centres A Joke
Commenting on the state of isolation centres within the nation, President of the Guild of Medical Directors, Prof. Femi Dokun-Babalola informed The Guardian, “This is a joke; the government is not serious and does not actually appreciate the severity of this condition. Governments, both federal and state did not prepare for this until the cases started appearing. Even now, many states have earmarked cockroach and mosquito-infested places for the patients. This is the reason the first case in Nigeria (the Italian) almost absconded.” 

According to him, the federal government ought to urgently find correct hospitals which are totally outfitted and comfy in order that sufferers don’t really feel deserted and remoted. We want isolation centres that may be up-scaled to intensive care models as the necessity arises.
 
“The government currently does not know how many people are infected, carriers of the virus or asymptomatic. The government does not know how many intensive care beds are available, fully equipped and manned; the government does not know the capacity and capability of its own hospitals, and it does not have any idea of trained infectious disease experts in the country; where they are; and what they can offer. The government does not also have any projection or plan for the numbers of possible sick patients if this virus takes hold in Nigeria. The government is not serious,” he added. 
 
Meanwhile, some Nigerian officers on the nation’s border with Cameroon in Taraba State are bothered on the scant consideration paid some border posts, whereas airports and seaports are receiving immense consideration.

Citing the best way sources and vitality are being expended on airports and land borders like Badagry in Lagos State, and Idiroko in Ogun State, they complained that such was not the case of their areas.

Wondering “if these ignored border posts are not part of Nigeria,” a port well being personnel stated, “could you believe that we bought these hand gloves we are wearing with our money?”

The Guardian findings confirmed that numerous villages in 5 native authorities councils of the state share widespread boundaries with Cameroon, which has a better variety of optimistic instances than Nigeria.

SHORTLY after the nation’s COVID-19 instances jumped to 22, the Federal Government, yesterday, directed the closure of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as a part of contemporary measures to comprise the rampaging illness.

The two busiest airports shall be briefly shut to all industrial worldwide industrial flights.
 
An announcement by the Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, acknowledged that the shutdown shall final until April 23, 2020.
 

Nuhu stated the brand new measure was along with the closure of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Enugu International Airport and the Port-Harcourt International Airport.
 
ON its half, the Nigeria Railway Cooperation (NRC), yesterday, rescinded its selections to droop prepare providers on account of COVID-19.

Earlier within the day, it had introduced the suspension of prepare providers to curtail the unfold of the virus, however in a press release signed by its Public Relations Officer, Yakub Mahmood, the outfit stated the board and administration reviewed its earlier choice and determined to supply passenger prepare providers with some conditionalities.

The circumstances embrace passengers offering their full names, addresses, dates of delivery, and technique of identification.

NRC urged all passengers to cooperate with every other measures put in place to guard Nigerians from the virus.

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