A medical doctor who works in one of the isolation centres in Lagos has suggested high number of COVID-19 deaths at the treatment centre.
The doctor, Bella Nifemi, works with the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba, and said this via her Twitter handle @drbellanifemi.
While advising Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on how to deal with those who were recently arrested for breaching COVID-19 protocols in the state, Nifemi said they should be taken to the IDH to help in “pushing oxygen cylinders into the wards and assist with moving bodies to morgue.”
Dear @jidesanwoolu @ProfAkinAbayomi @LSMOH
I want the punishment for those violating Covid-19 rules, especially those arrested at clubs to be community service at IDH Yaba, let them come and be pushing oxygen cylinders into the wards and assist with moving bodies to morgue.
— bellanifemi (@drbellanifemi) January 10, 2021
This is even as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control warned on Monday that the country is now reaching a critical level, such that the hospital capacity will no longer be able to cope with more serious COVID-19 cases.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this in a series of tweets on Monday while reacting to the spike in COVID-19 infections in the last one month.
Ihekweazu said this as the fear of COVID-19 spread at the National Identity Management Commission grew on Monday because Nigerians besieged the NIMC offices following the workers’ suspension of the strike they embarked upon on Thursday.
Ihekweazu had warned, “With over 100,000 lives now affected and over 1,300 deaths recorded within 11 months in Nigeria, we are reminded of the stark reality we live in.”
The NCDC added, “Average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the first week of January 2021 was higher than cases recorded in last week of December 2020.”
Speaking in the same vein, ace comedian and actor, Atunyota Akpobome, a.k.a Ali Baba, sometime last week, narrated his experience at an isolation centre where he had undergone treatment for the contagion.
He warned people to protect themselves by obeying all COVID-19 protocols.
The comedian, who shared his experience in a video posted on his verified Instagram page, said he spent the Christmas at an undisclosed isolation centre, noting that the second wave of the pandemic is deadlier than the first wave.
He said, “2020 was a tough year, but we have made it through and God has kept us alive.
“Covid is real and my sympathies go to those who have lost loved ones. Please, be aware the next wave of Covid, the new strain that is around now is deadlier than the one that came before because it [has]mutated.
“The people that are going about, carrying on like they don’t have Covid have Covid, they are asymptomatic and they will spread it to you.
“You may not have the immunity that some people have and as such, you may not be seeing it that this thing is killing.
“Let me tell you, people are dying every day. Those numbers you see are not fake.
“I spent all my Christmas in isolation. Covid is real. I was in Room 4 and I can tell you that from Room 1 to 5, the number of people that were taken out because they died.
“I have spoken with people who attended parties and two days later died. This Covid is real.
“Anybody that tells you Covid is a scam, don’t listen to the person. Covid is killing and people are dying, you need to be careful and protect yourself.”
It may be recalled that the Chairman of the Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan, said the daily record of COVID-19 cases being churned out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control does not reflect the total number of infected persons in the country.
He stressed that many people have not been tested, noting that the figures released by the NCDC daily are only based on the number of tests conducted.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to adhere to the safety protocols as well as present themselves for testing.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Adenekan said, “Other countries are experiencing the second wave, while what we are experiencing at the moment is influx.
“We estimated that there would be tougher times in January with high cases and that is what we have been experiencing. In the last few days, we have had over 1,000 cases back to back and that is even based on the number of tests being done.
“I am sure some people aren’t even going for the test. That should give you an idea that we have more than the figures we are releasing. We are likely to have more positive COVID-19 cases.
“I can assure you that we have more people outside who have not been tested and are positive.”
He noted that the cases had continued to rise because of disregard for safety protocols.
Also, last September, the Chairman, National Technical Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, had said the COVID-19 figures being released by the NCDC should not be taken for it.
Tomori, a former Vice-Chancellor at the Redeemer’s University Nigeria, Ede, Osun State, spoke while delivering a lecture at the opening of the Annual General Meeting of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, University College Hospital, Ibadan, chapter.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Science and Mis-Science of COVID-19’, the virologist said the NCDC had given verdicts, which contracted the reality on the ground.
Tomori, who delivered the lecture online, said some of the misinformation about the virus should be discarded.
He said, “The NCDC told us that we reached our peak in July and infection rate has been declining; we need to take this with a pinch of salt.
“The NCDC gives us figures without giving us the details of what is happening.”
The Chairman, UCH Response Team on COVID-19, Prof. Kayode Osungbade, also faulted the accuracy of the figures being given at both the federal and state levels.
Meanwhile, last December, experts had expressed the fear that a more devastating second surge of the virus could be caused by relaxed restrictions, mounting COVID-19 fatigue, and the emergence of a new variant in South Africa, among other factors.
As reported by National Geographic, new COVID-19 cases in Africa peaked in July and August at around 18,000 per day before dropping to 7,000 a month later.
“Since then, they have grown and, in mid-December, are threatening to break records,” the publication noted.
As of Monday, January 11, NCDC announced that Nigeria currently has 101,331 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 80,491 persons treated and discharged, with 1,361 deaths.
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