Amid the rising number of cases and the refusal of some persons who test positive for COVID-19 to go to isolation centres, many states have said they will continue to treat the infected patients at isolation centres rather than resort to home treatment option.
They noted that getting persons who had tested positive for the virus to the isolation centres remained one of their strategies to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Lagos State had on Thursday said it was considering adopting home treatment option for patients with mild symptoms, noting that it would soon release the guidelines for the treatment option.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said the decision to consider home treatment for some COVID-19 patients became necessary because some residents who tested positive for the COVID-19 refused to go to the state isolation centres and had been practising self-treatment in various places.
He said, “There are people who are already practising self/home isolation on their own, because we can’t find them. The (phone) numbers they give us may be false or they don’t answer their calls. When you go out to pick them at their residences, they would have absconded from their residences. So, they are isolating themselves in different places.
“In effect, the concept of home-isolation is being practised by many Nigerians even though it is not yet a state or national practice.
“The people of Lagos are practising home isolation which is one of the reasons why we as the government are trying to transition to home care because it is happening anyway, so we might as well regularise it and make it an official option.”
The commissioner said the state isolation centres were filled to 60 per cent capacity, adding that the centres had yet to fill up because as patients were being admitted, some were being discharged.
There were 245 new cases on Friday, pushing the total cases to 7,261, with 10 new deaths and 100 new persons discharged.
But in separate interviews with our correspondents on Friday, some states said they were not considering the option and they would rather make use of the isolation centres.
In Kwara State, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and spokesperson for the state COVID-19 Technical committee, Rafiu Ajakaye, said the state government was not thinking of treating patients at home as it had sufficient bed spaces in its isolation centres.
He said apart from the 600-bed space at the Muslim Pilgrim Camp, another isolation centre had been established at the state General Hospital in Offa.
He said, “The possibility of treating COVID-19 patients at home does not arise in Kwara State at the moment and certainly not anytime soon. This is because the occupied spaces at the state’s isolation facilities are not even two per cent.