The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has advised against keeping asymptomatic patients of COVID-19 in the isolation centres.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, gave the advice during the daily press briefing by the task force in Abuja, advising rather that such persons, who were about 80% of those infected were better treated with more comfortable places like hotels.
Aliyu, who particularly directed his advice at state governments, also charged states to start preparing and equipping isolation centres, with not less than 300 beds.
He explained the advice to keep those with little or no symptoms away from hospitals and regular isolation centres were because they would not need serious treatment or monitoring, adding that this would make the available spaces more adequate for those with serious symptoms, just as it would come cheaper for state governments to manage.
He however appealed to all citizens to take the outbreak with seriousness, warning “we must do everything to prevent another spike in the spread of the virus during the eased lockdown phase.
“In terms of case management, we’ll like to again appeal to state governments, particularly those who are yet to ensure the provision of isolation facilities, to please make sure that they have at least 300 beds available per state so that they can isolate persons that are positive with COVID-19 infection.
“It is particularly important that when it comes to isolation facilities, that appropriate prioritisation is placed on those that have mild or no symptoms. This group of persons with COVID-19 infection should not be placed in a hospital environment, they are better off being placed in a non-hospital environment, such as hotels, where they’ll be comfortably looked after because they do not require any specific monitoring or treatment and it will be much cheaper for state governments to adopt this approach for the 80% of those that will be positive with COVID-19 infection and allow hospital beds and medical facilities to be used for those that require them most.
“I’ll like to again emphasise the need for us all to take personal responsibility for our health as well as the health of our loved ones and our community. We need to be aware of our physical space, we need to be very observant of the persons around us and of the need to maintain physical distancing as well as avoiding mass gatherings,” he said.