•We’re finding more COVID-19 cases than we can manage, laments state’s government
•Moves to start managing asymptomatic patients at home
•328 new cases take nationwide tally to 11,844, with 3,696 discharged and 333 deaths
Bennett Oghifo in Lagos and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, has raised the alarm that the state would soon run out of bed spaces at its isolation centres if it keeps recording high number of COVID-19 cases.
The Lagos health commissioner, who spoke at a press briefing yesterday, said the state confirmed a total of 1,165 new cases between May 30 and June 4. With the 121 new cases recorded yesterday, the tally for Lagos in the last seven days is now 1,286 On the same day, 328 new cases of Coronavirus were recorded nationwide, taking the tally to 11,844, with 3,696 discharged and 333 deaths.
Professor Abayomi stated that tests revealed more cases than Lagos State could handle and that they had consequently resolved to treat COVID-19 patients without symptoms at home.
Lagos, which is the epicentre of the disease in Nigeria, now has a total of 5,663 cases.
Abayomi attributed the recent spike in the number of positive COVID-19 cases to increased testing capacity.
He said: “Between May 30 when the state recorded its highest daily toll with 378 new COVID-19 cases and June 4, Lagos has confirmed a total of 1,165 new cases.
“We’ve been testing more. We’ve been escalating our capacity to test for COVID-19 and what we’ve found is that the more we test, the more we find, which is a reflection of the fact that COVID-19 is spreading within the community and we’re finding more cases than we can manage.
“If we carry on with the rate of positive testing that we are obtaining, we’re going to run out of isolation beds in our established isolation facilities.
“Therefore, we are projecting. If we keep getting 150,200 positives everyday, in another two or three weeks, even though we’re opening new isolation centres all the time, in time, we’re going to run out of beds.
“And this has happened all over the world; it’s not just in Lagos or Nigeria. Every other country has reached the same tipping point where you now have to transit from managing patients in an isolation centre to managing patients who are not that unwell at home, and reserving the isolation centres for people who are feeling unwell and need to be monitored more closely by medical personnel.”
He added that the state was currently developing strategies for managing asymptomatic patients at home to address the projected rise in number of cases.
WHO Issues Additional Guideline on Use of Face Mask
World Health Organisation (WHO) has unveiled a new guideline on the use of masks for control of COVID-19.
The world body, in a statement yesterday, said the new guidance was based on evolving evidence on who should wear a mask, when it should be worn and what it should be made of.
It said that it was still critical that people who use masks continue to take a comprehensive approach to protecting their health, including physical distancing and hand hygiene.
The statement said: “WHO has developed this guidance through a careful review of all available evidence, and extensive consultation with international experts and civil society groups.
“I wish to be very clear that the guidance we are publishing today is an update of what we have been saying for months: that masks should only ever be used as part of a comprehensive strategy in the fight against COVID-19. Masks, on their own, will not protect you from COVID-19.”
WHO’s new guideline also gave advice on who should wear face mask.
According to WHO, all persons that tested positive for COVID-19 are expected to stay in isolation while their contacts should also be quarantined.
It, however, explained that where it was absolutely necessary for a sick person or a contact to leave the house, they should wear a medical mask.
WHO advised that people caring for an infected person at home should wear a medical mask while they are in the same room as the sick person.
It said that health workers must use medical masks and other protective equipment when dealing with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.
Brazil overtakes Italy as country with third-highest deaths
Brazil has overtaken Italy as the country with the third-highest Coronavirus death toll after a daily record of 1,473 fatalities took its total tally to more than 34,000.
The figure published by Brazil’s health ministry on Thursday night showed that only the United States and the United Kingdom have registered more deaths from the disease.
The official number of infections rose to nearly 615,000, the second-largest caseload in the world, behind the US.
Shortly before the numbers were released, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said in an online broadcast: “We can’t go on like this. Nobody can take it anymore,” Bolsonaro said of the stay-at-home measures, being implemented by state governors and mayors across Brazil even as the number of infections and deaths continues to increase.
“The collateral impact will be far greater than those people who unfortunately lost their lives because of these last three months here,” Bolsonaro said.