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FG Holds Self-medication Responsible for Most COVID-19 Deaths

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has linked most of the COVID-19 deaths recorded in the country to self-medication and delayed reports of cases to treatment centres.

He told reporters yesterday in Abuja during the media briefing by the PTF that Nigerians should be prepared for the best or worst outcomes in the days ahead.

He said whatever the progress that would be recorded or lack of it would depend on the level of compliance with safety measures and health advisories outlined by the authorities.

Ehanire noted that there had been a disturbing picture emerging whereby many of the casualties were drawn from well-to-do persons who chose to remain at home to receive treatment until their cases became worse.

He said: "Even though this (fatality) figure seems low compared to other countries, a disturbing picture emerging from statistics is that not only are most fatalities observed to be linked with pre-existing diseases, many are educated, well-to-do people, who chose home-based care where they develop sudden complication and have to be rushed to the hospital. Experience is showing that breathing complications in COVID-19 patients can arise with little or no notice. This is an added reason why all persons should seek medical attention when they test positive."

He advised infected persons not to delay action but to seek immediate medical attention.

On the status of recovered health workers, the minister explained that the practice is for them to observe 14 days of monitoring during which they are expected to recover fully from hospital stress.

The minister also spoke on the use of hand sanitisers, adding that some of the brands in the market do not meet the required specifications.

He advised members of the public to always check out for the approving stamp by NAFDAC.

"A study carried out by a department in the Ministry of Health has shown that not all the hand sanitisers are up to standards. So in buying sanitiser, there is an advisory on it. You must look out for the NAFDAC number.

"Secondly, it should have a place where the ingredients are displayed, among these ingredients, you must see that it contains about 60 per cent alcohol," he said.

Ehanire also cautioned that Hydroxychloroquine should only be used based on a doctor's prescription.

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