More Nigerians are dying because they are not receiving hospital treatment for other diseases than are killed by the coronavirus itself, the head of the country’s Covid-19 task force says.
Boss Mustapha told a media briefing that it was sad and unacceptable that both private and government hospitals were rejecting patients because of fears of contracting Covid-19.
“Statistics have shown that there is a drastic drop in the percentage of attention being paid to other ailments not related to Covid-19,” he said.
“Truth be told, we are having more deaths from non-attendance to other diseases than even Covid-19,” he said.
Mr Mustapha did not give the number of those who have died because of non-attendance at medical facilities.
But some hospitals have completely shut down, saying they lack personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.
The main doctors’ association has told its members not to treat patients showing symptoms of Covid-19 without adequate PPE.
There have been reports of sick people who have been turned back at the gates of hospitals over fears that they had coronavirus.
Nigeria has nearly 9,000 confirmed cases of the virus although experts say very little testing has been done so the true figure is likely to be much higher.