Opinion:Coping With COVID-19 Is Becoming A Big Problem For Nigeria- Dr. Barth Ufoegbunam

By Barth Ufoegbunam

The situation in Nigeria as at now, is that the fight against COVID-19 is becoming increasingly overwhelming and as a nation we are gradually becoming unable to cope with the very fast moving pandemic.

Here are my reasons for saying so:

Some of the past government protocols and guidelines have been “reformatted” to enable us prioritise our responses with the available resources and with respect to emerging information on COVID-19.

*For instance the most important factor in the discharge criteria some months back was that an infected individual receiving treatment in any of the government administered isolation centers needed to test negative twice before a discharge can be sanctioned.*

*After awhile it was dropped down to just one negative test*

*The new management protocol and guidelines for discharge from isolation centers are saying, there is no need anymore for patients undergoing treatment in isolation centers to wait until they get a negative test result before a discharge can be effected*

*Asymptomatic cases can say bye bye to isolation centers once they have spent 14 days from their first PCR positive test*

*While Symptomatic cases can be allowed to go after 10 days and 3 additional days without symptoms from their first positive PCR test while in isolation centers*

The above practice is obviously not the case in other countries like Nigeria battling COVID-19.

The practice of Mandatory Quarantine that was recently done for repatriated Nigerians cannot be sustained anymore and has been more or less staggered.

*Here is what is new;*

*The new returnee Nigerians, are expected to be tested abroad within a stipulated time before boarding an aircraft enroute Nigeria.*
*They must be made to sign an undertaking to comply with all the instituted government regulations for such exercise.*

They are equally expected to have made prior accommodation reservations in both Lagos and Abuja before landing in Nigeria.

They are to cater fully for the cost of their repatriation, accommodation and feeding in Lagos and Abuja for a period of 14 days.

Those that can’t shoulder such responsibilities on account of financial constraints, can be allowed to go home and self-isolate and will be followed up accordingly via telemedicine until a COVID-19 test is done towards the end of the 14 days before they can be “discharged” from their houses and hotels accordingly.

*Keep in mind that those that returned before now, benefited from government sponsored accommodations and feeding in Lagos and Abuja.*

*Such luxury can’t be enjoyed by the intending returnee Nigerians anymore*

The fight against COVID-19 is getting much more complicated by the day.

*It behoves on every individual to do all he or she can to ensure his or her self preservation.*

*Never you step into the public arena without a good facemasks be it fabric or medical facemasks and maintain social distancing and other prevention practices*

*For fabric or cloth facemasks, the composition must be made of at least three layers.*

*If you are 65 and above, WHO advises that you wear a medical facemask in areas of widespread community transmission.*

*If you’re nursing or close to a known infected person, the same applies to you with regards to the much talked about home based care, that will soon be commencing in Lagos state.*

*Don’t forget over 4,000 infected persons in Lagos have remained in their houses because there is no more available bed spaces for them in the designated government isolation centers*

With the foregoing, i will allow each and everyone of us here to make our independent conclusions.


May God help Nigeria and all her people. Amen!!!

Dr. Barth Ufoegbunam.
Anchor, HEALTH MATTA ON WAP TV (TV Health Talk Show)

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