‘Hospitals to become sample collection centres’

PUBLIC and private hospitals will soon become sample collection centres for COVID-19 testing, the Federal Government said on Monday.

It urged those who show symptoms of coronavirus to go for testing.

 

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, spoke during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.

He said: “I need to appeal to citizens, especially those COVID-19 positive patients who feel no symptoms at all, not to take the invitation to treatment centres as persecution or punishment.

 

“They should cooperate with health officials and understand that measures taken are protective measures in the interest of all.”

Ehanire urged Nigerians to take responsibility despite Nigeria’s low death figures.

“The reduction in case fatality rate is down to about 2.2 per cent as opposed to about 5 per cent we have seen on the global average, and it is in line with our plan going forward,” he said.

On testing, he said: “It is also the plan of the Federal Ministry of Health to boost overall COVID-19 sample collection by preparing all eligible public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection centres.

“This will require enormous efforts by state governments and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to identify the facilities that can be used and the space within them.

 

“We will also need to conduct training for the personnel selected, the supply chain for both personal protective equipment (PPEs) and sample collection kits, as well as the all-important logistics to go around to recover test samples.

“This will better make us utilise the laboratories in the country which even now are capable of handling far more cases than they presently are,” the minister said.

 

According to him, the vulnerable will be prioritised for admission to treatment centres even if they are not yet showing symptoms.

He said the Federal Government, through the NCDC, has launched an e-learning platform on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for healthcare workers.

“We urge them to utilise it, but shall also refocus on training states with high health workers’ infection,” Ehanire said.

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