PTF Raises Alarm Over Shortage Of Oxygen At Isolation Centres, Urges States To Enforce Safety Protocols - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

PTF Raises Alarm Over Shortage Of Oxygen At Isolation Centres, Urges States To Enforce Safety Protocols

ABUJA - The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Tuesday disclosed that there is a shortage of oxygen needed to manage patients receiving treatments in isolation centres across the country.

It further disclosed that treatment facilities are currently struggling to keep up with bed spaces needed for the increasing numbers of patients needing admission.

Noting that some states are turning a blind eye to the obvious disregard of laid down safety protocols, especially with regards to social gatherings, the PTF therefore urged State Governors to enforce strict adherence to the safety protocols that have agreed on collectively.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known during the Presidential Task Force on covid-19 briefing in Abuja.

He said, “Our colleagues, the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) are here today because of the cases that we faced across the country. Treatment centres are filling up, and we are struggling to keep up. We are struggling to find the oxygen to manage cases. Every night we are faced with phone calls of patients desperate for care. So, unfortunately, January will be a tough month for all of us. It will be tough but we still have an opportunity to do what we need to do.

“We have been liaising with Executive Governors of States across the country to be more purposeful in implementing the measures that we have agreed on collectively. We have seen some of them doing that but many of the States across the country have not; they pretend as if there will be no consequence. This is the reality we are faced with and we have got to brace ourselves for January.”

The Minister for State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, in his address, added: “The fatality rate at 1.49 percent despite increasing number of active cases as well as morbidity is evidence of scaled up activity and quality of care at the isolation centres.

“All Federal Tertiary Hospitals who obviously run levels 2 and 3 isolation centres have been directed to improve/scale up Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in order to improve on treatment outcomes and enhance safety of the frontline health personnel. This is coming at the backdrop of the recent upsurge in the affected health workers and the unfortunate demise of some.

“The Case Management team has continued to advocate for the presence of psychosocial support for both patients and health workers. This is necessary because of the fatigue and consequential apathy associated with the pandemic.”

Representing the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs), the CMD of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Prof Bisala Ekele, said: “In the first wave there was no need for ventilators, now we are in the second wave but we do not know yet if we will need more ventilators. What is certain is that all the Teaching Hospitals and treatment centres have ventilators and when it is indicated they will be put to use.

“Covid-19 is primarily a disease of the respiratory tract and therefore, depending on the degree of severity, there might be need to support the patient with oxygen. And within those treatment centres we have different devices that we use to support the patient with the oxygen. Simple ones like the use of facial masks etc. It is when all of those fail that we now think of the ventilators. Most of the patients that need oxygen really do not need a ventilator. But when it is indicated we shall put them to the ventilator.”

©The Nation

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