TUE, MARCH 24 2020-theG&BJournal- The official numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Nigeria could be totally off, Dr Sylvanus. O Ebigwei, (MON) Consultant and renowned dental surgeon told theG&BJournal.
‘’The truth is that we are not testing enough people and I suspect the percentage is still very small, when you compare to the number who entered the country from places with high percentage of cases and probably positive. We need to re-evaluate our testing process.’’
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced overnight 40 confirmed cases in total in the country. Lagos has become the epicentre of the crisis with nearly 80% of the confirmed cases and health officials are beginning to struggle to keep pace with the count already.
‘’Nigeria has only three testing centres in Lagos, Abuja and Irrua in Edo State, there is none in the south east and in the north. Besides we cannot say we have enough testing kits yet. The number of cases could be more,’’ Ebigwei said.
One health expert say health workers on the other hand, face a looming crisis because of the huge gap in protective gears.
‘’I expect the Federal Government to also focus on what it is doing about that. It is not just about the daily tally of confirmed cases, we need updates as well on the number of testing kits, the E.Rs- because people are growing anxious and many, whether sick or not may want to come in voluntarily for check up. Oxygen and ICUs should also be put in focus,’’ he said.
One medical doctor in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) drew attention to the struggle of health workers in Italy and the Wuhan who were overwhelmed by the numbers of patients they had to suddenly deal with when the pandemic gripped.
‘’The confirmed cases was just about 20 in Nigeria when the week started, it has double today. Who knows what the numbers will be by the end of the week,’’ She said, adding, ‘’we might be getting double that number of patients by the end of the week-people coming in for checks and with possible positive cases. I think we should take the testing to the people. It could get worse’’