Educated and rich Nigerians constitute many of the fatalities from COVID-19 in Nigeria.
These were the words of the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, while disclosing the class of people who make up the number of COVID-19-related deaths.
While speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, the Minister said many of the patients chose home treatment and reported late to care centres.
A disturbing picture emerging from statistics is that not only are most fatalities observed to be linked with preexisting diseases, many are educated, well-to-do people, who chose home-based care, where they develop sudden complication and have to be rushed to hospital.
A former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Suleiman Achimugu, was Nigeria’s first COVID-19 fatality.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Achimugu had underlying medical conditions– multiple myeloma and diabetes, and was undergoing chemotherapy before returning to Nigeria.
Patients with diabetes, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) may be at extra risk for COVID-19 mortality.
Also, the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, died from the virus in April.
A total of 192 patients, as of Tuesday night, have died out of Nigeria’s 6,401 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Mr Ehanire said the government will continue to provide diagnostic commodities when needed, while also urging the public to quickly seek medical attention when the need arises.
Experience has continued to show that breathing complication in COVID-19 patients cauterises with little or no notice.
This is an added reason why all persons should seek medical attention when they test positive.
We will also continue to provide diagnostic commodities and facilities in collaboration with partners.
Meanwhile, at the briefing, the Director-General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said reporting more or less COVID-19 cases does not attract support from the federal government to states.
There have been unconfirmed reports of some states distorting the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in order to attract financial support from the federal government.
Mr Ihekweazu however, said there are no benefits to this.