By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Government on Thursday said it spends between N500,000 and N1 million to cater for a severe COVID-19 patient daily at its isolation centres.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this at a briefing to give update of COVID-19 in the state, held in Alausa, Ikeja.
According to him, to treat a patient who had mild case of Coronavirus cost the government around N100,000 daily.
He stated that for moderate and severe cases, it costs the government between N500,000 and N1 million to cater for a patient on daily basis.
Abayomi, however, said it is very difficult to calculate what is cost the state government to treat a COVID-19 patient, but that what he provided was a rough estimate.
According to him, in arriving at the cost he provided, he factored in the treatment, cost of feeding, accommodation, the services provided by the healthcare givers, among others.
Abayomi also said the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits for COVID-19 testing in Lagos was illegal as it had not been validated, explaining that RDT kits had a very high risk of giving false positive or negative results which could be traumatizing for citizens.
“In the event that a false positive result is given, a potentially negative person will be subjected to trauma, isolation and treatment like a positive patient”
“And in the event that a false negative is given, a potentially positive person is allowed to continue to roam freely in the community regardless of his positive status and as a result of the above, the use of RDT kits is illegal until Lagos State can validate RDT kits that actually work,” he stated.
The Commissioner explained that the State Government had considered the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits as part of the strategies to expand its testing capacity but noted however that none of the RDT kits submitted for validation passed the validation test.
“In order to expand our testing capacity, we considered the use of RDT Kits and to facilitate the quick validation of the RDT Kits and reduce the barrier of entry for proposed manufacturers and supplier of RDT Kits, Mr. Governor paid the validation fees for the RDT kits. However, upon review of the several RDT kits that were submitted for validation, we can report that none of the RDT kits passed the validation exercise,” he said.
While noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet declared any RDT kit useful for public use, Abayomi stated that it was also illegal for private health facilities to test or manage COVID-19 cases without proper accreditation and validation by the regulatory authorities.
“It has come to our attention that several laboratories and health facilities are testing and managing COVID patients without proper accreditation and validation by the regulatory authorities”
“Two laboratories were sealed as a result of this. We will continue to closely monitor all facilities that partake in these illegal activities and endanger the lives of all residents of Lagos State and instigate punitive measures to ensure they desist from such activities”, the Commissioner said.
He disclosed that only seven private laboratories have been accredited by the State government adding that the second phase of accreditation and validation of laboratories will be conducted when the demand arises.
Abayomi added that the State Government had also only accredited three private facilities and was currently in the process of accrediting more including general practitioners and small clinics that are interested in partaking in the soon to be launched community-based and home-based care programme.
“It is important to reiterate that the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency and the Lagos State Government has adopted a central planning approach to managing its response”, he said.
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