The recent cases of deaths recorded by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) due to COVID-19 has escalated in the past two to three weeks. The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora has given reasons for the surge as well as advised caregivers on steps to take to reduce deaths from COVID-19.
Disclosing the major cause at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing, the minister of health said the late presentation of the virus at approved treatment centres has greatly influenced the increased deaths recorded from the virus.
Mamora added that medical doctors are holding on to suspected cases for too long before presenting them for treatment which is a major factor contributing to the mortality of the cases.
He stated that approved COVID-19 treatment centres have scaled up activities and are ready to deliver quality care to patients.
He however appealed 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 Tuesday registered its highest daily figure of 1,270, a record likely to be broken soon going by the way the virus is spreading
Before Monday, the last highest figure was the 1,664cases recorded on January 7, 2021.
With the latest figure, the total number of cases across the country is 102,601.
A total of 161 deaths have also been recorded in the past 17 days, raising the total death tally to 1,373.
Dr 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.
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.
The minister 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.
Another health expert says lowering of guard on safety and the weak enforcement of protocols especially in the country’s major airports in Abuja and Lagos could be the cause for the trouble and warned that the situation could get out of hand if citizens keep violating safety protocols.