By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
As a strategy to curbing the spread of coronavirus in Lagos, the members of the State’s House Of Assembly have urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to work with the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) on the fight against the spread of the disease.
The lawmakers also called on the governor to direct the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi to accredit more private hospitals to treat coronavirus infected patients.
In Motion Number 23, 2020 of the Lagos State House Of Assembly, entitled; “Need To Allow Private Hospitals Participate In The Treatment of COVID-19 Patients,” moved by Honourable Olusola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo 1) during plenary today ( Thursday), the House notes the efforts of the Lagos State Government in fighting COVID-19 and the creation of seven isolation centres.
According to Sokunle, COVID-19 keeps spreading in the state as over 11,000 people had contracted the disease.
“We feel that private hospitals with the necessary facilities should be involved in the treatment.
“Most of the doctors treating the patients are being paid by the state government.
“The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) once warned their members over treatment of COVID-19 patients. We need to involve private hospitals so that they could support the state government and prevent another lockdown.
“If the government involves private doctors and members of the state chapter of NMA, and train them, it will be easy to handle.
“We call on the state Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to call on the state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi to see how we could work with private hospitals to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“We call on Governor Babajjde Sanwo-Olu to call on the state Commissioner for Health to see how they can work with private hospitals on treating COVID-19 patients.
The government should also find means of working with NMA on the great of the patients.”
Sokunle added that the state government admits people that test positive and discharge those who test negative in the isolation centres.
He then added that state government should be empowered so that doctors in public hospitals would train doctors that work in private hospitals who would then be certified.
“After that, we should screen the hospitals and validate their equipment, certify them and accredit the hospitals.
“Such hospitals can now admit COVID-19 patients. The government has approved seven private laboratories so far on COVID-19.
“Once the laboratories start work, we will have a lot of patients hence the need for more hospitals.
“With this, we will avoid another lockdown to save the economy of the state. It will also encourage private practitioners to join us on the care of COVID-19,” he said
In his contribution, Honourable Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) said that COVID-19 has now become a communal infection.
“We need to have more test centres. We have capacity to test 2,000 people in a day.
“People don’t want to go far and some people are avoiding stigma. The Lagos State Governor and the Commissioner are trying, but we need more private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients,” he said.
Also, Honourable Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1) stated that state government had done much on the issue with seven laboratories and accreditation of three private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.
He added that the virus is all over the world, and that the government should not handle the matter with levity.
Olumoh added that the 3 hospitals certified for the treatment of coronavirus patients
are not enough, saying that government should accredit more private hospitals so as to curtail community transmission.
Honourable Abiodun Tobun (Epe 1) said that there was need to encourage doctors in private hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients since they attended the same schools with those in public hospitals.
While Honourable Abdusobur Olawale (Mushin 1), in his contribution, suggested that government should provide financial assistance to private hospitals that would be engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients.
Olawale argued that most people do not follow the hygiene practices laid down by government, saying that the relevant laws should be enforced.
In his comment, the Deputy Majority Leader, Honourable Noheem Adams, traced the history of COVID-19 and how it started in China in 2019, and got to Lagos State in February, 2020.
While commending the Governor of the State and the state Commissioner for Health with the way they are handling the issue, he said that the virus keeps spreading everyday and that some people were yet believe that there is COVID-19 in the state.
However, the Speaker of the House, Rt. (Honourable) Mudashiru Obasa said that it was important that the NMA join hands with the government to reduce the spread of the disease.
Obasa stated that the doctors that are working with the government should train the doctors in private hospitals.
“If we leave it to only doctors in government hospitals, the disease would spread further.
“It will spread more among people living in crowded houses and they are more than people living in flats and other self contain buildings.
“We need to urge the government to call on the chairmen of local councils to work with CDAs to ensure that people living in crowded houses use face masks as well as those entering buses.
“We also need more people to take care of COVID-19 patients. Also, the government should pay the hospitals for the people they are treating,” he said.