COVID-19: Lagos warns residents to adhere strictly to safety protocols to avoid another lockdown
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THE Lagos State Government has stressed the need for residents to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against the transmission of COVID-19 to prevent another lockdown of the economy, adding that a resurgence of cases in Lagos may stall measures put in place by the Government to open up the economy.
Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for health, disclosed this while speaking on efforts being made by the government to sustain the gains that have been made to control the global pandemic in Lagos State.
He explained that many countries and cities are experiencing a second and third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a resultant spike in the number of cases and fatalities.
He noted that many of the affected countries around the world have found it necessary to impose a second lockdown and restriction of movements, which have significant socioeconomic and security consequences.
The commissioner, however, warned that the continuous flagrant disregard of safety guidelines by citizens herald danger and may lead to the second wave of new infections in Lagos, advising all residents against unnecessary movement and social gatherings, while travelling into and outside the country should be discouraged except when absolutely essential.
Abayomi expressed concern over the fading COVID-19 induced culture of face mask use, physical distancing and hand hygiene amongst citizens, calling for reinforcement and adherence to various preventive measures put in place by the State government to tackle the disease.
While noting that the increased COVID-19 testing capacity of the State has been very impactful in checking community transmission, the commissioner urged citizens, who experience symptoms of COVID-19 infection, to visit any of the dedicated sample collection sites in their local governments or public laboratories to get a test done free of charge.
He noted that early diagnosis aids prompt management and care of patients, resulting in the prevention of transmission to other citizens, particularly vulnerable and elderly members of society who may have underlying predispositions.
He emphasised that COVID-19 testing for other purposes, such as travelling or as a requirement for professional reasons, which are not part of the public health response, can be done at any of the 10 Government accredited private laboratories or by booking a test online at covid19.lagosstatebiobank.com or the National portal specific for travelers on nitp.ncdc.gov.ng .
Abayomi explained that Lagos State has a quality assurance process for every test that is done within its boundaries, noting that the need to oversee the process cannot be overemphasised because COVID-19 is a public health care emergency.
The commissioner explained that the state is also providing, free of charge, all social amenities such as the EKOTELEMED service, the delivery of COVID-19 Care packs, sample collection logistics as well as monitoring and validation of all laboratories and isolation centres.
“We are doing everything required to maintain a high quality of testing and care within the boundaries of Lagos State”, he stated.
Abayomi further added that Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor, is very committed to protecting the lives and livelihood of its residents as the State continue to permit a gradual return to socio-economic activities, assuring that the government will continue to ensure that testing and isolation, if required, remain accessible and free to citizens as required.
“This is not the time to relax our guards, if you have any reason to believe you fit the case definition for COVID-19 or you have any questions, please call the EKOTELEMED the toll-free line 08000356633 to speak with any of our medical personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.
There are 47.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. Of the total, over 31.7 million patients have recovered while 1.22 million persons have died of the infection.
Since its outbreak in Nigeria in February, Nigeria has a total number of 63,173 cases with 59,634 recoveries and 1,151 deaths.
Lagos which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria currently has 20,935 cases with 20,029 recoveries and 208 deaths.