Otegbayo made this known on Friday in Ibadan on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of the Josephus Foundation-aided new Infectious Disease Centre at UCH.
According to him, the coronavirus cases treated by the teaching hospital were severe with some of the patients having underlying health conditions.
“From the last figure I saw, we have treated about 159 COVID-19 patients and 18 of them died.
“We have those mortalities because we take the sickest of the sick; the most severe cases are brought to the University College Hospital and that is the only place where they can be treated.
“We have some of them with comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes and asthma and some other chronic lung diseases.
“Some of them have kidney failure that requires dialysis which is not available in many other places in Oyo State; that is why we recorded these mortalities at the UCH,” he said.
Otegbayo revealed that the newly constructed Chief Tunde Afolabi Infectious Disease Centre donated by the Josephus Foundation was a 20-bed state-of-the-art centre.
According to him, it is also the single largest donation the hospital has received since the inception of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will be taking care of patients transmissible infections which will include but not limited to people with coronavirus, Lassa Fever, HIV and others.
“It is an infectious disease centre with state-of-the-art hospital beds, multiparameter monitor for all the beds, a 60kva generator, CCTV for all the rooms and monitoring centre, nurse bay and doctors call rooms.
In his remarks, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, who represented the Chairman of the Josephus Foundation, said that the centre was built and donated to UCH to enhance its capability to fight infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Afolabi pleaded with Nigerians to stop the stigmatisation of COVID-19 victims but rather join the fight to conquer the ravaging disease.
“Infectious disease can attack anybody, so there is no point in stigmatising those who have this disease.
“Let us encourage ourselves to fight the disease and one of the tools we can use is this centre we have opened today,” he said.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, commended UCH for its commitment toward improving healthcare delivery in the state.
Bello said that the Seyi Makinde-led administration was committed to improving healthcare services in the state through collaboration and engagement of partners, including private citizens.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as at the time of this report, Oyo State had recorded 31 coronavirus-related deaths, while the total number of confirmed cases in the state stood at 2,935.
NAN recalls that the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force had on Monday said that isolation centres run by the state had not recorded any fatality since the outbreak of the dreaded virus in the state in March.