COVID-19: All FCT public hospitals would be sample collection sites – FMOH


The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), has said that all government hospitals in FCT would become COVID-19 sample collection sites so that walk-in cases could have samples taken for testing.

The Minister of Health, Mr Osagie Ehanire, who announced this during the PTF briefing on Thursday in Abuja, said that the move was geared towards scaling up the number of daily tests conducted in the country daily.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: FCTA, FMOH partner to improve health services in FCT

“This assures users and caregivers of reduced bottlenecks and improved efficiency in our response. We intend to scale this up to other states of the federation,” he said.

Ehanire said that all health workers would be trained and retrained on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and issued PPEs and materials required for the discharge of their duties.

The minister also directed the deployment and activation of GeneXpert machines to treatment centres at National Hospital, Abuja and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, so that they could conduct testing on site. The GeneXpert machine allows results within one hour.

According to the Minister, the deployment would address complaints by both citizens and hospital managers, of long delays in receiving COVID-19 test results, at treatment centres in Abuja especially, which disrupt smooth running and delay the commencement of treatment.

Ehanire noted that COVID-19 statistics were expected to rise further with improved testing, but said it was also a sign that COVID-19 was actually expanding faster than “our systems are handing it”.

The minister condemned reports of very sick persons being rejected in hospitals, lamenting that many had died outside or on the way, having been denied attention in more than one hospital.

“It is not acceptable that persons lose their lives to health conditions which could possibly have been cured, or may not even have been COVID-19 related,” he stressed.

On the Madagascar solution, Ehanire said that preliminary results of the analysis of the herbs by NIPRID showed that it was the same as the plant Artemisia anua, which was grown in the NIPRID farm.

He said that further research on its efficacy would be conducted when the grants for research was approved.

He, however, warned that the lifting of the ban on interstate travel did not mean that danger was over and it was safe to move about.

“The risks of being infected are higher during travel, so I strongly advise we do not embark on non-essential travel. This is particularly so for the elderly and those designated as high risk,” he stated.


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