Treat malaria symptoms as Covid-19 until proved otherwise, says Sanwo-Olu

Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has advised residents of the state to consider and treat any malaria symptom as COVID-19 until proven otherwise.

Sanwo-Olu, at a briefing on Tuesday, also raised the alarm that the oxygen demands for COVID-19 patients at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, had increased to 350 six-litre cylinders daily from 70 six-litre cylinders.

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

“Over the last few weeks, the demand for oxygen has risen from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-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. In addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State Government has decentralised 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 required them. Five of these 10 centres have been inauguration while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks.”

The governor also lamented the impact of the pandemic on schoolchildren, saying 24,000 children didn’t report to school after the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown.

He said the decision to reopen schools for the second term academic session was arrived at after due consultation with key stakeholders.

The governor noted that the government believed at the children were safer while in the schools as the state Ministry of Education and Office of Education Quality Assurance would intensify monitoring of compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

“As you are aware, all schools in the state have been directed to open in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government, and they have commenced schooling activities on Monday. 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 children’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 their homes and that they model responsible behavior to their children at all times, in and out of the home,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu also disclosed that a total of 556 people had been arrested for breaching the Covid-19 regulations, 502 prosecuted and convicted to date, while 35 clubs and event centres had been sealed.

He said the Lagos State Safety Commission and Lagos State task force would continue to carry out enforcement across the state and would not hesitate to bring errant defaulters to book.

“All places of worship are advised to register on the Lagos State Safety Registration portal, and to visit the portal regularly for updates on our Safety Protocols and conditions for operating.

“Similarly, all hospitality businesses, restaurants, hotels, event centers, and related entities should register on the site, and follow all guidelines. In the meantime, and until further notice, all night clubs in Lagos State must remain closed.

“The responsibility of fighting and defeating this virus belongs to every one of us, and we must take this responsibility very seriously,” the governor said.

The Punch

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