Why Anambra has low Coronavirus death rate - Commissioner
The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, says the state recorded low COVID-19 death rate due to early treatment of suspected cases.
The Commissioner said that once someone presents self with any of the symptoms, the state government starts treatment protocol as adopted by it in the management of COVID-19 patients immediately; even before the test result comes out.
“This will make the disease not to progress to the severe stage and casualties reduced.
“This is a new disease, we are still trying to understand why someone will be positive for COVID-19 with one or two symptoms and survives, another will have many symptoms and within a few days, he dies while another will not even have any symptom at all.
“In future, we will know why but before then, let us not lose more people. This is why whether asymptomatic, fully symptomatic or very severe, we treat them all and let time sort them all.
“The nine deaths we recorded was due to late presentation.
“People and even some doctors will be treating malaria and refuse to call for COVID-19 test until the patient starts experiencing shortness of breath or hypoxia, at that point, it might be difficult to handle such case,” he said.
Okpala lamented that the disease was spreading because some people who tested positive refused to present themselves for treatment.
“These people are helping to spread the disease and some people they might infect might not have strong immunity to survive the disease
“You call them on phone, they begin to rain curses on you and cut the call. When we tried to go hard on them, they bring in human right issues when this is supposed to be an overriding public interest.
“This is a disease many do not even know how they got it, so it’s good to defy stigma and present for treatment so that more lives will be saved,“ he said.
Okpala said that with the stage of community spread of the infection, the state government set up COVID-19 task force in each of the 21 local government areas and 326 electoral wards in the state.
He said this was to intensify sensitisation and enable community searching of cases.
The Commissioner urged members of the various communities to provide relevant information to the Task-forces in the LGAs and in the 326 wards
“Relevant information includes the presence of strangers in their midst, the return of persons who have in the last two weeks been to states with high incidences of the coronavirus pandemic and individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
“These symptoms include dry cough, constant sneezing and shortness of breath.
“In collaboration with the World Health Organisation and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), we also trained laboratory sample collectors for prompt identification of COVID-19 cases
“This would help decentralise sample collection centres in the state and each of the LGAs will have at least two to three sample collection sites. They will be closer to the grassroots.
“They will also support the COVID-19 taskforce already in place so that when they find anyone with the symptoms of the virus it will not be difficult for them to collect the sample, “Okpala said.
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