Lagos Government Never Released List of Private Hospitals Exposed to COVID-19 Cases

CLAIM: Fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Thursday, April 23, spotted a statement circulating online claiming that the Lagos State Government had released a list of health facilities in the State exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

The purported list which has been extensively shared on WhatsApp has the names of 17 health facilities in the State.

FACT: Checks by CDD revealed that the Lagos State Government never released such list. During a briefing held on Sunday, April 19, 2020, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that about 17 hospitals have reached out to the Ministry for assistance after being exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. Prof. Abayomi, however, never mentioned the names of the hospitals.

A few days after the announcement by the State health minister, a list of 17 private health facilities in the State started circulating online.

Reacting to the list, the Lagos State Government in a statement on Thursday, April 23, 2020, urged members of the public to disregard it.

Abiola Idowu, the Secretary of Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), in Lagos, also confirmed the list did not emanate from the agency or the Ministry of Health.

Mr Idowu, while acknowledging that some health facilities might have unintentionally admitted or treated patients with COVID-19, appealed to members of the public to desist from stigmatizing any health facilities or individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Furthermore, in the statement, which was posted on the Lagos State Ministry of Health’s official twitter handle, the government warned health care facilities in the State against unauthorized admission and treatment of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to the statement, any facility caught violating the laid-down protocol of operations, especially about COVID-19 case management would be sanctioned.

CONCLUSION

The Lagos State Government did not release a list of 17 private hospitals exposed to Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

The CDD is urging members of the public to avoid sharing information that may cause panic and harmful to the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.