Nigeria now has at least 5,000 isolation beds in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja available to treat coronavirus patients.
Even though Nigeria has recorded 5,959 coronavirus cases, as of the time of this report, it currently has 4,183 active cases, a majority of which are being treated in isolation centres managed by state governments.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, expressed worry last month that Nigeria had only 3,500 beds available.
However, while listing the government’s achievements over the past two weeks, the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced on Monday, May 18, 2020 that 1,500 additional beds have been made available to treat patients.
The PTF chairman also announced that the country has tested a total of 35,098 people for the coronavirus disease since February when the index case was announced.
He said 15,558 tests were conducted in the past two weeks alone, with the number of tests per one million increasing from 50 to 154.
With a population estimated around 200 million, many have voiced dissatisfaction with the number of tests conducted so far.
Mustapha, who’s also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, remarked that the country has further boosted its capacity to deal with the outbreak by increasing the number of trained health workers, and scaling up the procurement and distribution of personal protective material and ventilators across the country.
He further noted that laboratories in the COVID-19 network have increased from 15 to 26 nationwide in the past two weeks.
The SGF appealed to Nigerians to continue to adhere to preventive measures announced by authorities to contain the spread of the virus as it may likely not go away any time soon.
“Nigeria is not where we wish to be in terms of control, ownership, infrastructure, and change of behaviour. We must do more,” he said.
Coronavirus cases have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as of May 17.
While 1,594 patients have recovered and been discharged, 182 people have died.