We have recently received a lot of emails inquiring if and how we can evacuate patients during this period. This is due to the Coronavirus pandemic which is affecting many countries in the world presently.
There are now over 225,000 confirmed cases in the world. In Nigeria, we have now confirmed 35 cases and the numbers are projected to continue rising.
The government has also banned travel to some countries and stopped Nigeria’s visa on arrival process for now. Infections are recorded to be more severe now as it spreads globally and health institutions are slowly becoming overwhelmed, hence prioritizing care for patients severely affected by this pandemic.
Through all of these, we remain committed to saving lives of patients while also protecting the health and wellbeing of our crews. Regarding our medical evacuation services, please, note the following:
Will Flying Doctors Nigeria continue to evacuate Non-COVID patients?
Yes, we will. We will continue to receive requests for evacuations, however, due to the on-going increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases recorded within Nigeria, Africa and globally, coupled with a lot of travel bans, policy changes and travel restrictions, we will have to assess the possibility of evacuation of each non-COVID evacuation individually.
Are we able to evacuate confirmed COVID patients?
At the moment, we may be able to assist with evacuating suspected and confirmed cases of coronavirus. However, as they are matters of national interest, we implore all suspected and confirmed COVID patients to cooperate with the health authorities of the countries they are in, so as to help curb the spread globally.
Are the healthcare institutions geared for the COVID-19 outbreak?
Presently, there are four testing centers and twenty-two Emergency Operations centers for the coronavirus in Nigeria. Our health agencies are working tirelessly to detect cases and manage them appropriately. There are over 100 hospital beds set apart for this outbreak and more are being dedicated as it spreads.
What should clients in Nigeria do if they suspect they are infected?
People who are traveling to Nigeria from areas where cases have been confirmed or who have come in contact with infected persons should self-report to the Port Health Services if they feel unwell or experience symptoms (such as sneezing, sore throat, fatigue, catarrh, cough, fever, shortness of breath and diarrhea) on arrival.
If they experience no symptoms, they should self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
If they develop symptoms at home within 14 days of arriving in Nigeria, they should call the hotline of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (080097000010) immediately and avoid contact with other persons.
If they are in Lagos state at the time when symptoms start to show, they should call the Lagos state emergency hotlines: 08023169485, 08033565529, 08052817243 or 08000corona (08000-267662).
While awaiting the responders, they should ensure they stay away from other people and follow good respiratory hygiene by covering mouths and noses with tissue papers when sneezing or coughing. They should also dispose used items immediately and appropriately.
We wish everyone good health and safety as we all battle this pandemic.