Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, 4th May announced the gradual phasing out of the country’s lockdown in Ogun States, Lagos and Abuja.
The Nigerian Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus has urged state governments to ensure that they have isolation facilities in their localities. These facilities should:
- Have at least 300 beds;
- And be preferably linked to existing infectious disease centres or medical centres (such as tuberculosis and HIV centres), as this makes it easier to continue to make use of them after the pandemic.
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However, any spaces will do, with health minister Osagie Ehanire, saying: “I urge all states to find more beds for isolation and treatment, and this may include hotels.”
Nigeria’s policy is one of targeted testing. This involves identifying those who are most likely to be infected, namely those who have just come back from other countries and those they have been in contact with.
In terms of contact tracing, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has identified between six and seven thousand contacts cumulatively. The focus of last week was to improve the level of contract tracing, made easier by the lockdown.
With contact tracing, each new case tends to have about 30-40 contacts to follow up. Every contact is followed up with for 14 days.
To date, about 30% of all the cases in the country have been found via contact tracing.
There is also a national coronavirus hotline. Statistics from the Lagos centre shows some problems:
- 80% of calls received are hoax calls;
- 11% of calls received are welcomed – they are people asking for information;
- 9% of the calls are received from members of the community who feel that they might have been infected;
- And just 4% of the calls result in a red flag. This means that Lagos State dispatches members of the healthcare service to either test the individual or to bring them to health facilities.
Targets for key areas
Health teams in Abuja and Lagos have five key targets:
- To ensure the collection of samples happens within eight hours for people with COVID-19 symptoms;
- To ensure that the time taken for testing and for the results to be revealed is less than 24 hours;
- To test 200 samples per day in Lagos and 100 per day in Abuja;
- To isolate patients in less than six hours after they have tested positive for the virus;
- And to isolate every confirmed case.
The success of the state healthcare teams will be measured on each of these indicators, and the observations will be used to improve the effectiveness of response.
Since the easing of the lockdown, over 3,000 new cases has been recorded, we want you to share your thought if you want the federal government of Nigeria to continue with the total lock-down.