The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has warned health professionals against secret and private management of Covid-19 patients outside accredited health facilities.
The Minister gave warning at the media briefing organized by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 in Abuja, Thursday.
He expressed regret over the demise of a medical doctor due to Covid-19 related illness in Lagos.
According to him: “I shall use this opportunity to again strongly advise health professionals against private or secret management of people who have COVID-19 outside of accredited health facilities.
“We cannot afford avoidable morbidity and mortality. Private facilities must obtain accreditation to treat this highly infectious disease.
“Practitioners engaging in unauthorised treatment of COVID-19, run the risk of being shut down for decontamination.
“Quite unfortunately, the latest fatality in Lagos is a medical professional; I want to express my condolences to the family.
“This highlights the risk to health workers in this COVID-19 response. Patients with mild symptoms are still very highly infectious, and mild symptoms in one person could be deadly infection in another.
“That is why we recommend the suspension of close contact between grandchildren and grandparents, at this time.
“Our valuable health workers are urged to adhere to all government instructions and regulations; always utilise personal protective equipment (PPE); maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19; and protect yourselves, your loved ones and your colleagues.”
While warning against stigmatizing people who have tested positive to Covid-19, the Minister said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has provoked social stigma and discrimination against anyone thought to have been in contact with the virus as well as people of certain backgrounds. This negative association means those with the disease, their caregivers, family, friends and communities, are labelled, stereotyped, discriminated against, and treated poorly because of a disease.
“Unfortunately, stigma can prompt social isolation of persons or groups and drives people to hide the illness, prevents them from seeking health care immediately, and discourages them from adopting healthy behaviours.
“This could cause a situation where the virus is more likely to spread and increase the difficulty of controlling the COVID-19 outbreak. We must not stigmatise persons who have recovered from COVID-19.”