Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, said although some private hospitals have indicated interest to handle COVID-19 cases, none has met the criteria.
“There is a large hospital in Lagos that has called me saying they want to become a coronavirus treatment centre,” he said.
“The structure of the hospital is such that they are ready to remove all the present patients they have and do nothing but coronavirus, so they don’t stand the risk of cross infection.
“If as a private person, you want to run a treatment centre, you have to show that you have the staff; a doctor who must be an infectious disease specialist, nurses and even cleaners who are trained, because handling of such hospitals is different from handling ordinary hospitals.”
He added that such hospitals would have to undergo “inspection by a team which would give the go-ahead to do so”.
“There is no hospital that has met these criteria at the moment,” Ehanire said.
The minister said treatment of COVID-19 patients by private hospitals is prohibited, emphasising that the risk of transmission is very high and can overwhelm the health system if not properly managed.
He said early treatment of confirmed cases should be done in any hospital accredited and certified to treat COVID-19 cases.