COVID-19: Ondo govt denies closing isolation centre

• There's only slight change in protocol ― Health Commissioner

Tensions were heightened in Ondo State, on Wednesday, over the possible spread of COVID-19 cases in the state, following the alleged discharged of some patients at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Akure, over the strike action of the medical doctors at the facility.

It was gathered that all patients at the centre were asked to vacate the hospital and forcefully discharged as the doctors at the hospital vowed not to return to work until the government attend to their demands.

However, an official of the centre who spoke to Tribune Online on condition of anonymity, explained that no patient has been abruptly discharged but said only patients that are asymptomatic are being discharged.

He said the development has nothing to do with the striking doctors but said it was part of the new proposed protocols, saying “If you did not exhibit symptoms, they only give drugs, advice you to isolate yourself at home.”

According to him, the facility might be overwhelmed and filled to the capacity if this system is not adopted but said these asymptomatic patients are attached to the Health care facility closer to their house in order to monitor them.

The state government has been trying but the number of patients keep increasing on a daily basis. We have about 76 cases on Tuesday if they continue to admit those who those without the symptoms, the facility will be overwhelmed.”

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However, the state government also denied closing down the isolation centre in the state over the strike of some health workers and doctors in the state.

Speaking, the Special Adviser and Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, said there was no iota truth in the rumour saying the isolation centre is still operating and attending to a patient.

He explained that the only change is the protocol of managing infected COVID -19 patients at the centre.

He said: “We wish to state that our isolation centres are open fully. What has however changed is the protocol of managing patients with COVID -19.

Before now, the protocol was to isolate every patient infected with COVID -19 in the isolation centre but now our new protocol is to admit for treatment only positive patients with symptoms or comorbidities at the centres.

Other positive cases that are asymptomatic and with no comorbidities are to self-isolate under supervision in their suitable homes according to the standard and global practice.

He confirmed that some doctors at the facility have embarked on strike demanding for additional hazard allowance as promised by the state government, but assured them that all the allowance would be paid.

He disclosed that the payment would commence before the end of the week while he said “the State government is committed to the overall health of the people and the well being of our health professionals by promptly paying their salaries and allowances to date.

“The state has started computing the list of those entitled to the additional COVID -19 hazard allowance amount due to each of them. This should be concluded within the week and payment effected.

“I hereby use this medium to appeal to all striking health workers to return back to work in the spirit of this emergency pandemic.”

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