…Confirmed coronavirus cases hit 109 in Lagos, as11 new cases recorded
…Admits hitches, snags in distribution of stimulus package
…Says the road ahead remains long and uncertain
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced a free medicare plan for expectant mothers and emergency/casualty cases.
The state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Saturday, while briefing State House Correspondents on the update of COVID-19, a pandemic situation in the state, held at Lagos House Marina.
According to Sanwo-Olu, “Let me also seize this opportunity to announce an additional ameliorating measure to complement the welfare packages previously announced, as follows:
“The Lagos State Government will, for the duration of the restriction on movement, take full responsibility for the medical bills of all patients who fall in the following categories, at all Lagos State-owned secondary healthcare facilities: Emergency/Casualty cases, including registration, laboratory tests, surgeries, and drugs, maternity cases: normal delivery and caesarean sections.
“What this means is that, at this time, patients with the above-listed conditions will not need to pay to access treatment and care at all our 27 General Hospitals across the state.
The Lagos State governor also confirmed the state has recorded 11 fresh cases of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, bringing the total confirmed cases to 109 in the state.
“It has been five days since the Federal Government ordered a restriction of movement in Lagos State, as part of measures to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has not been easy, but it is abundantly clear that this was a step that had to be taken, a necessary sacrifice, to avoid far more disruptive outcomes.
“The restrictions have also started paying off, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control has told us that they have been able to take advantage of the absence of traffic on our roads to make appreciable progress in their contact tracing.
“I would like to thank everyone who has dutifully obeyed the instruction to stay indoors, resisting the temptation to defy these directives that have been made for the good of all of us.
“I am pleased to announce more good news about the recoveries we are seeing among COVID-19 patients in Lagos State.
“So far, 24 patients have been discharged from our hospital in Yaba, after the experts gave each of them a clean bill of health.
“The most recent four were released yesterday. You may have seen videos and testimonials from some of them in the media. We are all just as delighted as they are.
“Just as we have seen some patients being discharged, we, unfortunately, also have some new ones being discovered in the metropolis.
“On Friday, April 3, 2020, eleven (11) new patients were diagnosed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 109.
“I have no doubt that all the patients will continue to enjoy the excellent care being offered by our indefatigable medical officials, who deserve credit for their heroic exploits on the frontlines of this battle.”
The governor commended medical and emergency personnel, and all ad-hoc staff and volunteers for their selfless service. “When the story of this brave fight against COVID-19 is told, there is no doubt that your sacrifice, service, and heroism will feature prominently.”
Sanwo-Olu continued: “As a Government, we shall continue to work with the Federal authorities, represented by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). We thank them for all the support thus far.
“Our gratitude also goes to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, who have been worthy partners every step of the way.
“You will recall that when we began this battle, I promised you that the vulnerable and indigent segment of our society would not be abandoned or left behind. It was in this vein, that I approved a Welfare Program under which 200,000 households were targeted
“in the first phase, for the distribution of food items and other essential items.
“While the program has since begun to make a positive difference in the lives of many of the intended beneficiaries, I must also acknowledge that there have been hitches and snags in some aspects of the implementation.
“We never envisaged teething problems along the way, but I must tell you that our major focus was to roll out without delay and fine-tune the modalities as we continued with program expansion.
“What we, however, did not reckon with, was the extent to which some people would go to deliberately undermine and sabotage a program intended to bring succor to the poorest among us.
“This kind of malicious behavior is unacceptable, and we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all the culprits are identified and appropriately punished.”
While assuring the populace that a more superior strategy has been worked on to ensure that the laudable program was not compromised by the sheer irresponsibility of a few, Sanwo-Olu noted that the full palliative impact has been realized across the state.
“Let me, again, seize this opportunity to remind you all that while the road ahead remains long and uncertain; I must however, tell you that the bulk of the battle is fought and won in the mind.
“We must condition our minds and reinforce our psyche to take on that of a winning approach.”
“By this, I mean that we must begin to picture life after this pandemic and a return to normalcy.
“We must continue to reassure ourselves that we are not weaker as a unit, but much stronger and our confidence lies in the fact that, working together, we have and will always emerge victorious.
“I have no doubt that by the grace of the Almighty God, and with the full support of every Lagosian, this too shall pass.
“To the law-abiding residents of Lagos State, I salute you and encourage you to keep being responsible Lagosians. Continue to obey all the directives as issued by the health experts – practice social distancing, shun large gatherings, cover your mouths when coughing or sneezing, and self-isolate and contact a doctor if feeling unwell.”
“Sanwo-Olu sent warning signal to those who insist on flouting government’s directives and guidelines, whose aim he said was to undermine the efforts of the various health authorities responsible for keeping us safe, “let this strong warning go out: The strong arms of the law will catch up with you sooner than later, and you will be brought to justice swiftly and comprehensively!”
“We are in this together, and we will triumph together, ” he concluded.