Lagos branches of the Nigerian Medical Association and the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria said the decision to treat COVID-19 patients at home was tough but has to be taken.
The Chairman of Lagos AGPMPN, Dr Tunji Akintade, said that the decision to treat mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients was taken because all the government hospitals and isolation centres in the state were filled up.
Akintade said: “The state government is overwhelmed, the country is overwhelmed, all the government hospitals and isolation centres are filled up in the state. The state government took this step because they do not have any further choice. The decision to go into home care treatment for COVID-19 patients was not a decision the state government took alone, it was agreed by a lot of partners.
“The government decided to embark on home treatment not because they desire it; they don’t even have the capacity to do it alone. What that means is that if everyone is being treated at home, where are the nurses and doctors that will go and treat them? At this point, we don’t have a choice than to support the state government in the decision they have taken in good fate.”
In the same vein, the Publicity Secretary, Lagos NMA, Dr Moruf Abdulsalam, on Tuesday, said the NMA was not in support of the idea but that was the only thing the state could do when the facilities at the isolation centres got overwhelmed.
“We are in a situation where the state government feels they cannot cater to all COVID-19 patients at the designated centres. All over the world, the thing to do is that COVID-19 patients are supposed to be treated at isolation centres, unless the number becomes overwhelming, which exactly is what we are faced with currently. Those that would be treated at home must be linked with the nearest Primary Health Centre for monitoring.
“With the figures, we are seeing daily, the NMA cannot come out to say it supports home management of COVID-19, but logically speaking, we know that we will eventually get to that stage. Everybody cannot be treated at the isolation centres because the bed spaces are getting filled up already,” Abdulsalam said.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on July 4 announced that the state was putting in place strategies for the commencement of home-based management of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.