BREAKING: COVID-19 2nd Wave: Lagos Govt unveils new protocols

Benjamin Omoike

Access Bank

The Lagos State Government has further unveiled new strategies to strengthen its directives towards flattening the curve of the second wave of COVID-19 in the State.

New strategies deployed by the State Government to flatten the curve of the virus revolve around Oxygen strategy, private sector collaboration (isolation centres and labs); Home-based care strategies; New travel protocols; and Non-pharmaceutical interventions, among others.

Addressing the matters of concern bordering on the second wave of the virus, with daily increase in cases testing positive, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a press briefing on Tuesday, said that the virus can be flattened if citizens take seriously “the advice and guidelines being issued by the authorities.”

“In this second wave of the current pandemic, any malaria-like symptoms should be considered as COVlD-19 virus infection unless and until otherwise proven. Any affected individual with COVID-19 symptoms should proceed to any of our public health facilities and/or laboratories to get tested for free.”

“It is important to clarify, once again, that those that fall within the case definition—that is, have symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, inability to smell or taste, headaches or general body weakness — or those who come into close contact with anyone with any of these symptoms are eligible for free testing at any of our public laboratories,” he said.

As Lagos remains the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria since its incursion into the State in March, statistics of the State’s profile in the fight against COVID-19 reveal that as of 17th January 2021, Lagos has recorded a total of 41,374 confirmed cases of COVID-19; of which 28,452 has recovered and rehabilitated within the communities, while 9,213 cases are currently active.

Amidst the second wave, records show that in the last 11 months about 3,776 COVID-19 related patients have been admitted into the States care centres, with a registered fatality rate of approximately 0.67 per cent (277 cases).

A total of 263,358 tests have been  conducted between public and private laboratories, among which 41,374 were diagnosed positive to the virus.

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, as part of the strategies employed towards managing the second wave of the virus, the State has made provisions for more oxygens at the isolation centres, as efforts have been made to decentralise the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks.

He said: “The increase in the positivity of cases has necessitated the provision of greater amounts of concentrated oxygen for the moderate to severe cases on admission in our isolation centres.

“Over the last few weeks, the demand for oxygen has risen from 70 6-litre cylinder per day to 350 6-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital. This is projected to more than double to 750 6-litre cylinders, before the end of January 2021.

“ln addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State Government has decentralized the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks.

“Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that require them. Five of these 10 centres have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks.

“It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of LGAs as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres, if required.

“This strategy is to further increase the lighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy.”

Speaking on the State’s consciousness to managing the spread of the virus among Children with the resumption of schools, he said: “As you are aware all schools in the State have been directed to open in compliance with the dlrectlves of the Federal Government and they have commenced schooling activities on Monday 18th of January 2021.

“This was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of COVID-19 but I assure you it was the best decision for our chlldren’s safety and long-term development especially our most vulnerable children.

“The staff and management of the Ministry of Education have been monitoring compliance of both Public and Private schools with the safety policies and protocols laid out. Parents are encouraged to ensure the protocols of safety are adhered to in the homes and that they model responsible behaviour to their children at all times in and out of the home.”

Speaking on some of the new protocols guiding international travels, the Governor mentioned that any passenger who has his/her passport deactivated would have to fulfil all safety protocols before their passport can be reactivated.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, further enjoined Lagosians to consider malaria-like symptoms as potential COVID-19 infection until when laboratory test proves otherwise.

He described the assertion as a key model to stay on the safer side of flattening the curve of the virus.


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