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COVID-19: FG may use schools, hotels for isolation centres – Minister

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FEDERAL Government will consider using schools and hotels as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients if the need arises, an official said.

  The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made this known at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) during COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.

  Mr Ehanire said Nigeria currently has over 112 treatment and isolation centres in the 35 states and FCT with over 5,000 beds.

  He, however, said not all states have up to the 300 beds prescribed for isolation and treatment.

  “Nigeria presently has over 112 treatment and isolation centres in the 35 states and FCT with over 5,000 beds, but not all states have made it up to at least 300 beds prescribed for isolation and treatment.

  “In event of overflow, we can require hotels and school dormitories to be prepared for level 1 (Quarantine) and level 2 Isolation (of COVID-19 positive with zero or mild symptoms).

  “To free hospital beds to be dedicated to level 3, (moderate to severe cases) and level 4, (high dependency and Intensive care unit),” he said.

 Nigeria is currently using selected hotels in Lagos and Abuja as isolation centres for Nigerians evacuated from other countries because of the COVID-19. However, even that policy is being jettisoned as the task force has said such evacuations have been suspended and when they resume, the returnees would be expected to self-isolate.

  Schools across Nigeria have been closed for about two months due to the coronavirus. The PTF said Wednesday that it would soon release guidelines for the reopening of schools.

  The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, had earlier said the country lacks adequate bed spaces to accommodate COVID-19 patients in isolation centres across states.

  He said the country was considering home-care treatment for COVID-19 patients.

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