The Lagos State Government has dismissed as fake, a list of Hospitals circulating on social media that supposedly names those that have been exposed to the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, the director of press at the Lagos Health Facility and Accreditation Agency in a public statement on Thursday quoted the Executive Secretary of the organisation, Dr. Abiola Idowu as denying the list, which was purported to have emanated from the Ministry of Health, insisting instead that the Ministry of Health through HEFAMAA never issued any statement advising the public not to patronize certain facilities in the State.
Idowu said, “This is the handiwork of mischief makers and fake news merchant who are bent on causing panic in the community and eroding the success recorded in the battle against COVID19”.
“I therefore urge residents to disregard the list in its entirety and rely solely on the Ministry of Health and HEFAMAA for information on the operation of health facilities and management of COVID19 cases especially at this critical time”, She said.
Idowu explained that some health facilities might inadvertently admit or treat patients with #COVID19 without knowing.
She stated that if this happened the facility woukd be temporarily closed for decontamination while the staff would be trained on Infection, Prevention and Control after which the facility is safe to carry on its normal operations.
She appealed to members of the public to desist from stigmatising health facilities that might have been exposed to #COVID19 cases as well as patients infected with COVID19 to prevent severe health problems.
“We need people to desist from stigmatizing such facilities, they are only closed for decontamination and once that has been done as well as other necessary protocols, the facility is safe to offer services to the public,’’ the Executive Secretary stated.
Idowu also observed that stigma could drive people to hide the illness to avoid discrimination, prevent people from seeking health care immediately and discourage them from adopting healthy behaviours.
She urged all health facilities operating in Lagos to adhere strictly to the principle on Infection Prevention and Control, maintain high degree of suspicion for #COVID19 and adhere strictly to laid down protocols for COVID19 suspicion.
She added that IPC would help reduce human-to-human transmission and secondary infections among close contacts and health care workers.
Highlighting some of the critical components of the Protocol, Idowu explained that each healthcare facility must have a plan and a team in place to address COVID19 issues such as triaging and assigning responsibility for notification or communications with the Lagos State COVID19 response team through the 08000CORONA toll free line, 08000267662 or the Ministry of Health and the Local Government Area.
She advised facilities against unauthorized admission and treatment of confirmed COVID19 cases, warning that any facilities caught violating the laid-down protocol of operations especially with regard to COVID19 case management will be sanctioned in line with the extant provision of the law.
She reiterated that only facilities approved by the State Government for COVID19 case management are expected to carry out the management of COVID19 cases.
Idowu urged individuals in the State to desist from issuing panicky statements to the public on operation of health facilities.
This according to her is capable of causing confusion and making the fight against the pandemic more challenging.