From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Owing to the recent increase in the number of confirmed cases and the late presentation resulting in fatalities, the Ekiti State government, has called on all private health facilities to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols to protect both staff and the patients, and to reduce community transmission of the deadly virus in the state.
This was just as it ordered the hospitals to run COVID-19 tests on patients with fever, cough, catarrh and related symptoms in their facilities.
The state’s Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani, in a letter issued to the Association General and Private Medical Practitioners, Ekiti State chapter, noted that the decision was necessary to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The letter, entitled ‘Enforcing COVID-19 Protocols in Private Health Facilities in Ekiti State’ reads :
“The Government of Ekiti State is providing an update on the ongoing efforts by the Ekiti State Ministry of Health and Human Services, to ensure private healthcare facilities comply with best practices and laid down COVID-19 case management guidelines, as well as the protocols for healthcare facility management during the pandemic.
“The state government has observed that the recent fatalities from confirmed cases were patients who presented rather too late, at the state’s Isolation Centres.
“The recent increase in the number of confirmed cases, and the late presentation resulting in fatalities, has necessitated the urgent need to remind concerned parties of the need for a high level of suspicion and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols in all private health facilities, to protect both staff and the patients, and to reduce community transmission of the deadly virus.
“Sequel to this development, the Honourable Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani issued a letter to the Association General and Private Medical Practitioners, Ekiti State chapter, and subsequently met with them virtually on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
“The meeting was also an avenue to concretise arrangements for the training of healthcare providers on the management of COVID-19 related cases, and to provide rapid test kits to hospitals for quick detection and treatment.
“All these measures already exist in public hospitals, and we are only ensuring alignment of what the public and private health sectors are doing. In addition, all private facilities must ensure all patients with fever, cough, catarrh, rapid breathing (tachypnoea) and related symptoms are tested for COVID-19 at their facilities. Also, all patients that are not responding to treatment, and who are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 should be immediately referred to the nearest General Hospital or Isolation Center,” says Dr. Oyebanji Filani.
“The Government of Ekiti State wishes to remind the general public that Ekiti State is currently experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases, with 95 confirmed positive cases in the month of July and 265 positive cases to date, compared to only 14 confirmed positives from April to June 2021.
“This comparative analysis clearly shows that we are in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public is advised to adhere strictly to the prevention protocols.
“The State Government also notes that over 97% of positive cases and critically ill persons had not received the COVID-19 vaccine. This indicates that taking the vaccine offers a high level of protection against the virus and protects people from severe illness. We hereby encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccination exercise commences.
“Ekiti continues to lead as a model sub-national government with integrated and holistic responses to tackle COVID-19 and cushion its economic impact on the people.”