The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said private hospitals treating COVI-19 patients secretly would be shut, reports Punch.
Ehanire spoke during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, where he also advised against physical contacts with grandparents who were vulnerable to coronavirus.
He said it was unfortunate that a medical doctor (in Lagos) died of the virus after contracting it.
He stated that it underscored the risk involved in treating people infected with COVID-19 at an unauthorised medical facility.
Ehanire said, “Quite unfortunate, the latest fatality in Lagos is a medical professional. I want to express my condolences to the family. This highlights the risk to health workers in this COVID-19 response.
“Patients with mild symptoms are still very highly infectious, and mild symptoms in one person could be deadly infection in another. That is why we recommend the suspension of close contact between grandchildren and grandparents at this time.
“Our valuable health workers are urged to adhere to all government instructions and regulations. Always utilise personal protective equipment; maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19; and protect yourselves, your loved ones and your colleagues.
“I shall use this opportunity to again strongly advise health professionals against private or secret management of people who have COVID-19 outside of accredited health facilities. We cannot afford avoidable morbidity and mortality.
“Private facilities must obtain accreditation to treat this highly infectious disease. Practitioners engaging in unauthorised treatment of COVID-19, run the risk of being shut down for decontamination.”
The minister said that the next phase of the PTF strategy in its effort to curb the spread of the virus would focus on community testing.
While addressing complaints from health workers in some hospitals that PPE was inadequate, the minister said that it was important to manage the national stockpile of the equipment because of the inability of foreign manufacturers to produce the materials.
Explaining procedure for discharging patients from the isolation centres, Ehanire said it varied from one patient to another. He stressed that it was important that a patient to be discharged must be tested twice and the result must be negative.