NIGERIA’S federal government has issued an edict banning the transfer of coronavirus patients between states making it compulsory that anyone tested as Covis-19 positive must be treated within the state that they are diagnosed.
Although the country has been spared the worst excesses of the pandemic, Nigeria currently has 873 cases of the virus, of which 28 have died. A total of 26 out of Nigeria’s 36 states have at least one case and in a bid to prevent the spread any further, the federal government is looking to ensure that patients are isolated and treated in the states where they are diagnosed.
Yesterday, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s health minister announced that patients would from henceforth be treated in the state where they were confirmed positive in order to prevent the exposure of other persons in the course of transfer. Already the government has stepped up door-to-testing in Lagos and Abuja, the two territories most affected by the pandemic.
Dr Ehanire said: “All persons diagnosed with Covid-19 be henceforth treated in the state where the diagnosis was made, rather than be referred to their states of origin except there is a medical indication to the contrary. This is to avoid the high risk of exposure of other persons in the course of transfer.”
He explained that a protocol for a patient transport system has been developed for Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and all the states to smoothly convey patients to specialised treatment centres or between treatment centres. Dr Ehanire added that the Nigeria Air Force and the National Emergency Management Agency have aircraft on standby for emergencies.
In addition, the minister also said patent and proprietary medicine vendors and pharmacists have been prohibited from managing persons diagnosed with cases or suspected to be coronavirus carriers. He warned that violation would lead to the withdrawal of the licences of the vendors and pharmacists.
He advised private hospitals desiring to manage Covid-19 patients to apply for permits from the health ministries of the states where they are located. In addition, the minister advised Nigerians not to get too scared because Covid-19 has a cure rate of over 90% if those with the typical symptoms report early for testing and treatment or quarantine.
Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the presidential task force on Cvid-19, linked the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country to the expansion of testing capacity. He restated that the situation in Kano State has continued to be of concern to the federal government.
On the conduct of Muslims during the approaching Ramadan season, Mr Mustapha appealed to governors to pay attention to the directive by the Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar, to Islamic leaders to suspend activities that encourage crowding. Ramadan is due to begin on April 24.