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Lagos defends spending about N1 million daily on severe COVID-19 cases, provides details

The Lagos State Government has provided more explanation on its earlier announcement that it spends between N500,000 and N1 million to take care of COVID-19 patients in critical condition.

PREMIUM TIMES reported an earlier statement by the health commissioner, Akin Abayomi, that the state spends about N100,000 daily to treat non-complicated COVID-19 cases and N500,000 to N1 million daily to treat complicated ones.

That statement has been criticised by many Nigerians who accused the state of mismanagement of funds with some calling for a detailed breakdown of the amount spent so far.

It was in reaction to the public criticism that the Lagos information commissioner, Gbenga Omotosho, released his statement Friday evening.

Mr Omotosho said said Mr Abayomi’s statement was misinterpreted, thus necessitating an explanation by the government.

Mr Omotosho, who was also at the press briefing where the health commissioner made the statement on the cost of care for COVID-19 patients, said the commissioner sought to communicate the range of symptoms manifested by patients, which range from mild and moderate to severe and critical.

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He reiterated the Lagos government’s stance that it costs the government approximately N100,000 per day to treat a non-complicated COVID-19 patient, while a patient in the critical state may require between N500,000 and N1 million for treatment.

“Every case is different and it is very difficult to calculate exactly how much managing a COVID-19 patient would cost, but what is clear to us is that when you add up the expenses of maintaining the facility, infrastructure, human resources, feeding and consumables, it costs the government approximately 100,000 naira per day for a non-complicated COVID-19 admission,” Mr Omotosho said in the statement.

Breakdown

Further explaining the cost of care for COVID-19 patients in the state, the information commisssioner said only 8 per cent of the admitted patients were in critical and severe conditions and their cost of care was between N500,000 to N1 million per day depending on the severity of the case.

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“Of the 13,835 positive cases identified in Lagos thus far, about 18% equivalent to 2,490 have been admitted into the state’s isolation centres. Of all these patients admitted – about 7% were severe and 1% was critical; that is 8% of total admissions.

“The Honourable Commissioner gave an indication of the considerations factored into the costing of intensive care, including ventilation, dialysis, intravenous antibiotics, oxygen and other high and intensive care requirements, depending on the complications of the case. He went on to estimate the cost of intensive care, which usually requires a longer period of admission, and may range between N500,000 to N1,000,000 per day, ” he said in the statement.

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Mr Omotosho said this figure (N500, 000 to N1 million) applied to not more than 200 out of the 2,490 patients on admission and majority of them recovered, while the remaining 2,290 patients in the non-complicated category cost around N100, 000 per day.

“The Lagos State’s COVID-19 response cannot succeed without the active support and cooperation of the press and we continue to seek that support in the war against this coronavirus. We do not ask them to hide anything, but we do ask them to err on the side of full, fair and factual reporting,” the commissioner said.

Lagos recorded 168 new cases of coronavirus infection on Friday, increasing the confirmed cases in the state to 14,177.



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