At least two of Nigeria’s biggest companies have advised their staff members to avoid certain private hospitals in Lagos, which are believed to have been contaminated by the Coronavirus. This comes as some private hospitals in the city have temporarily suspended their operations due to fear of contaminations.
What we know: In an internal memo that was sent out to all staff by the head of human capital of a tier-1 bank, staff members were advised to immediately contact the hotlines of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) if they have recently visited any of the hospitals or been in contact with people who have.
In a similar internal memo that was seen by Nairametrics, the head of human capital of a top oil company advised staff members to use alternative hospitals available under their HMO plan, in order to avoid the “contaminated” hospitals.
A health scare: On Monday, April 20th, 2020, Vevic Lifecare Hospital in Lekki, Lagos, informed the public that its management has decided to suspend operations for approximately ten days. According to a statement that was made available by the hospital, the decision became necessary after a Covid-19 patient was inadvertently admitted at the facility, even as two hospital staff members ended up contracting the deadly virus.
In view of this, the hospital was closed so it can undergo a full decontamination exercise. In the meantime, the infected hospital staff members were handed over to the NCDC for proper monitoring and treatment.
Saint Nicholas Hospital also released a statement, yesterday, informing the general public that it has decided to temporarily suspend operations for two weeks. Again, the move became necessary after it was discovered that the hospital had been exposed to the contagious virus.
At least, six other hospitals in Lagos are believed to have made a similar decision to suspend operations in the meantime. There are strong indications that more hospitals might do so in the coming days.
The backstory: Recall that the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control had strongly advised against the treatment of Coronavirus in private hospitals. Hospitals are required to refer any patient displaying symptoms of the virus to the NCDC.
In the meantime, the NCDC and other affiliate agencies have been battling to contain the spread of the deadly virus. As you may well know, the Presidency also recently extended its lockdown directives for Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun states by two more weeks. But the Coronavirus cases in Nigeria keep rising. So far, a total of 665 cases have been confirmed, with 188 recoveries and 22 fatalities.
One of those who have died of the virus is Abba Kyari, the former Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. As Nairametrics reported, Kyari died over the weekend at a Lagos private hospital called First Cardiology Consultants. His death happened weeks after he contracted the highly-contagious virus, following official visits to some parts of Europe.
Meanwhile, the government is ramping up efforts at wide-spread testing and contact-tracing. Thanks to the generous donations by the country’s private through the Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), more testing kits are now expected in the country soon. A statement by CACOVID, as reported by Nairametrics, noted that a total of 400,000 COVID-19 test kits have been ordered.