Ehanire blames rise in COVID-19 deaths on late presentation.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has blamed the increasing cases of COVID-19 deaths in the country on the late presentation of patients at the designated hospitals for treatment.

Ehanire disclosed this on Monday during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, warning that attempting to treat COVID-19 positive patients in facilities not accredited is putting the lives of many at-risk beside the patients themselves.

The minister said, “The experience we are getting suggests that some of the fatalities recorded in our country may have been saved if they had arrived designated treatment centres early enough.

“It is also emerging that the clinical condition of COVID-19 patients, especially the elderly and those with underlying illnesses, can change from mild to critical within such a short time that patients hardly have time to seek hospital care.

“I again advise all hospitals to have the right index of suspicion and recognize and promptly refer suspected cases to designated hospitals. 

“Attempting to treat COVID-19 positive patients, when not so accredited, puts all involved at risk, including the innocent.

“I also advise persons with symptoms and those with underlying diseases or over 60 years of age, to check into an isolation or treatment centre, for observation. This could save your life.”

Speaking on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, Ehanire said,​ “As at Sunday, 6,879 persons in total had been treated for COVID-19 and discharged, while 518 have sadly been lost, with 96 persons in just the past week. Total samples tested are 113,575, active cases are 12,847 and case fatality rate, at 2.55 per cent.

The minister argued that though up to 80 per cent of cases could be asymptomatic, he, however, noted that it helps to also bear the known common symptoms in mind.

“These symptoms include; fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and difficulty in breathing. 

“Additional signs can be headache, diarrhoea, nausea and fatigue. While symptomatic treatment can be vital in preventing complications, close clinical observation, early enough, can be decisive” he said.

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