Did Lagos teaching hospital admit 500 COVID-19 patients daily?


A VIRAL post on WhatsApp claimed that the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) admits not less than 500 COVID-19 patients on a daily basis.

The report has been circulating on various WhatsApp group in Nigeria for days.

The claims

“The coronavirus pandemic is now spreading rapidly in Lagos. Use your face masks all the time. Avoid going out unless necessary. Avoid entering commercial buses

My LUTH consultant friend is just telling me that LUTH Lagos admits not less 500 coronavirus patients daily. At the moment, 9 LUTH Professors are presently on admission at LUTH for COVID. So let’s be extraordinarily careful.”

“To wrap this confirmation – Covid-19 is real… and anybody can be infected…,” a part of the WhatsApp text reads.

Screenshot of the viral WhatsApp post

From the above, two claims were established:

·        LUTH admits not less down 500 COVID-19 patients on a daily basis

·        9 Professors from the LUTH are on admission due to COVID-19

The findings

In a bid to curtail the Coronavirus pandemic, the Lagos State Government established at least 8 isolation centres in the state to manage COVID-19 patients.

On May 8, 2020, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, said the state has eight isolation centres with 547 bed spaces.

“Gbagada General Hospital – 118; Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi- Araba – 60; Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba – 115; Onikan Stadium Centre – 100; Landmark Centre – 70; Lekki Centre – 45; Agidingbi Centre – 34 and First Cardiology Hospital – 5 (Critical Care),” the Health commissioner stated.

But in a telephone conversation with The ICIR on Thursday, a Professor of Medical Virology, Prof Sunday Omilabu, who is also a Consultant Virologist and Director of Central Research Laboratory (CRL), College of Medicine, University of Lagos/Lagos University Teaching Hospital (CMUL/LUTH) disclosed that the capacity of the LUTH Isolation Centre is just 120.

“LUTH isolation centre is just 120 capacity, and we are even yet to exhaust the capacity. The claim that we admit 500 patients on a daily basis is fake,” he told The ICIR.

Commenting on the second claim that 9 professors from LUTH were on admission due to COVID-19, Professor Omilabu said: “This is totally fake news”.

Further findings by The ICIR from other unofficial sources also corroborated Prof. Omilabu’s comment, thus showing that the WhatsApp post was full of FALSEHOODS.

“It’s fake news; LUTH doesn’t admit 500 COVID-19 patients on a daily basis,” LUTH’s spokesman, Mr Kelechi Otuneme, told The ICIR.

He also refuted the claim that 9 professors from the hospital were currently COVID-19 patients.

“This is far from the truth,” Otuneme said.

The verdict

Based on all available information obtained by The ICIR, it is evident that the claims are FALSE.

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