ABUJA – The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday made an outcry about inadequate bed spaces to accommodate COVID-19 patients in isolation centres.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said Lagos State is the worst hit by this challenge of inadequate bed spaces although Kano State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are also affected.
He stated this while responding to questions from journalists at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja. Ihekweazu added that although there are about 3,500 bed spaces available across the country, this is insufficient and it leaves the infectious disease control agency to struggle.
“In response to the question about bed spaces. There is not doubt about that, we are struggling in certain places especially in Lagos. To an extent Kano and Abuja too but the biggest challenge right now is in Lagos where bad spaces are really tight.
“Across the country we have about 3,500 bed spaces identified as available for COVID-19 but in Lagos we are really struggling. So, we are going to keep trying to work with them to make more spaces available and ultimately,” he said.
The NCDC boss added that due to this challenge, there might be need for a change of strategy and start treating some patients at home.
“We might have to change our strategy a little bit and start considering home care in certain circumstances where the person is able to provide a room where a patient can be managed sufficiently and secondly, we are able to support the care by enabling healthcare workers come to that.
“We will always be honest with Nigerians, we are struggling at the moment we might have to adapt that strategy because of the reality we have faced over the next few days and weeks,” Ihekweazu said.
Nigeria currently has 1,728 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 34 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Only 307 persons have been discharged while 51 deaths have, so far, been recorded.