With over N20bn raised, more borrowing, FG says it’s losing to covid-19

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 announced on Wednesday reached 389, and ratcheted up the national total to 8733, and the federal government do much the health ministry had to fess up it is overwhelmed. And it is tapping deep pockets in Nigeria to intervene.

Junior Health Minister Olorunnimbe Mamora said  the rise in the figure is not strange, but the federal government is worried.

“This is because very high cases could seriously exceed the capacity of our health system to cope. Routine cases may also suffer as a result,” he said. “Therefore, non-pharmaceutical preventive approach is still our best strategy.”

But that approach is wobbling now. There’s not enough legroom.

“At present, we have a total of 112 treatment and isolation centres in all the 36 states and the FCT with 5,324 beds. While only five states including the FCT have at least 300 beds as prescribed for isolation and treatment, 21 states have less than 100 bed spaces.

According to him, as the number of confirmed cases increases, there is an urgent need to expand the treatment centres across the country.

Only 21 states have fewer than 100 bed spaces each.   And five states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have the prescribed 300 beds.

“I therefore call on the state governors and philanthropists to take active and deliberate steps to scale up the number of beds for isolation and treatment of confirmed cases in their states,” he said.

The governors have been raising funds from their states to finance the spending on the effort to stop the spread. Yet the number of facilities in their states are no where in the region of what the emergency needs.

Philanthropists, under the aegis of the Coalition Against Covid-19,  clubbed together earlier to raise over $55 million; there have also been borrowing and skimming huge enough to create a hole in Nigeria’s treasury.

The latest update on the pandemic in Nigeria indicates that 35 states and the FCT have recorded cases, including Kogi which had been resistant to testing before now.

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