Nigerian Hospitals Turn Away Dying People Over COVID-19 Fears

( An investigation from the Premium Times published on Friday suggests that hospitals in Nigeria are rejecting critically ill and even dying patients over fears of being infected by the Chinese coronavirus.

The newspaper spoke to more than ten people who claimed that they or somebody they know were turned away from hospitals in the African country. They claimed that the hospitals turned them away over fears relating to the spread of the virus, as well as a lack of personal protective equipment, space, and general resources.

Hotelier Moses Ogidi told the story of a customer who was staying at his hotel and who fell ill. Despite this, she was unable to find a hospital to treat her.

“For three days, she didn’t come out from her room so we knew something was wrong. I went and discovered she was critically ill,” he said. “It was at the National Hospital that I got mad. They didn’t even want to touch the patient or give us any reason for turning us away. They simply refused to admit the patient despite seeing that she could not move.”

“I can’t take her back to the hotel because she was pooing and peeing on herself,” he added.

The woman was eventually taken to a private hospital where she continues to receive treatment for her critical illness.

Rhoda Ameh, a resident of a small town near Abuja, told the paper about how she was turned down despite suffering from typhoid.

“I was here about two weeks ago when I was down with typhoid and fever,” she said. “I wanted to see the doctor but they told me that the hospital was not attending to out-patients at the time, only those on admission. I inquired to know why, I was told it was a management decision.”

If you thought things were bad in America, well…at least our hospitals are admitting people!

The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, told journalists in May that Nigeria is suffering because of the failure of the nation’s hospitals to treat people suffering from anything other than the virus.

Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, said that too many people are being rejected at hospitals.

“Over the last few days, I have also received reports of very sick persons being rejected at our hospitals,” she said. “Many have died outside or on the way, having been denied attention in more than one hospital. It is not acceptable that persons lose their lives to health conditions which could possibly have been cured, or may not even have been COVID-19 related.”

So far, Nigeria has recorded 35,000 cases of the virus and 769 deaths. It’s low, given the country is home to 200 million people, but it’s also likely to be incorrect owing to a widespread lack of COVID-19 testing.