January 16, 2021

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The late presentation of COVID-19 patients at approved treatment centres has largely contributed to the increased deaths recorded from the virus, the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said.

Mr Mamora while speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday said caregivers are holding on to suspected cases for too long before presenting them for treatment.

“A major factor contributing to the mortality of cases is the late presentation at the approved treatment centres,” he said.

He noted that approved COVID-19 treatment centres have scaled up activities and are prepared to deliver quality care to patients.

He, therefore, appeals to caregivers to refer persons with suspected cases as promptly as possible.

“This will greatly improve treatment outcomes and drive our case fatality rate further down,” he said.

With a recent spike in coronavirus cases across the world, most countries including Nigeria are already in the second wave of the pandemic.

Since early December 2020, there has been an increase in coronavirus cases in Nigeria as the country continues to record relatively high daily infections.

Nigeria on Monday registered its highest daily figure of 1,204, a record likely to be broken soon going by the way the virus is spreading

Before Monday, the last highest figure was the 1,145 cases recorded on December 12, 2020.

With the latest figure, the total number of cases across the country is 91,351.

A total of 106 deaths have also been recorded in the past 17 days, raising the total death tally to 1,318.

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Health experts believe the lowering of guard on safety and the weak enforcement of protocols especially in the country’s major airports in Abuja and Lagos could be responsible for the development, warning that the situation could get worse if citizens keep violating safety protocols.

Oxygen availability

Mr Mamora said the federal government has been making spirited efforts at ensuring the availability of oxygen on a short term basis through collaboration with CACOVID.

He said efforts are ongoing to ensure oxygen availability at federal tertiary hospitals as well as state-owned hospitals.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Nigeria records nine more deaths as total cases surpass 90,000

He said the oxygen availability intervention plan is targeted at immediate, medium and long term plans with special attention to the COVID-19 high burden areas like Abuja, Lagos, and Kaduna states.

He also appealed to the general public to strictly adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions including wearing of face mask, physical and social distancing, handwashing with soap and water and use of hand sanitisers when necessary.

He said the taskforce is liaising with state governments, National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other relevant MDAs to intensify sensitization of the general public on the need to comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols.

He noted that some states and the FCT have taken proactive measures to ensure compliance such as the introduction of fines for erring members of the public.

This, he said, is a step in the right direction considering the ferocity of this second wave.

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