By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State, Mr. Valentine Buraimoh has described the claim of widespread COVID-19 in the area as “misinformation, and false” urging residents to disregard it.
Buraimoh, assured there was no cause for the alarm over COVID-19 in the area.
Buraimoh gave the clarification and assurance in a statement released on Saturday, following the spread of an audio message on WhatsApp platforms claiming widespread of COVID-19 in Amuwo Odofin area of the state.
The statement read, “My attention has been drawn to an audio-recorded report that has been circulating from an unauthorized source about the alarming number of COVID-19 positive cases in Amuwo Odofin LGA, it has become mandatory to make this address and official statement for the overall benefit and safety of our people.
“Firstly, the person that made and released the audio recording in question is not an authorized member of staff of the Local Government, neither is she an official of NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control). Although, she was engaged as ad-hoc personnel by the NCDC to work on active case search in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area.
“The interview of the active case search was to identify people with symptoms similar to COVID-19 in Lagos State. These identified persons are subsequently being screened to determine the number of positive cases.
“The recorded voice message is completely not in tandem with the purpose of the active case search, which is to identify people with symptoms to enable them qualify for screening and to know the number of positive COVID-19 patients in the Local Government Area.
“Thereafter persons with symptoms are then sampled to determine whether they are positive or negative.
“The following are the facts in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area: Walk-in sample collection site was established on 12th April 2020 at the Local Government headquarter Secretariat at 41 road Festac Town.
“Daily sample collection has been going on at the Secretariat till this moment. Samples collected are sent to the EOC (Emergency Operation Centre) in Lagos State where the samples are processed and result communicated to the concerned persons privately.
“The Team at the Local Government headed by the Medical Officer of Health has continued to work assiduously and professionally.
“We are presently involved in the control of COVID-19 as a Local Government in the following area: Walk-in screening centre presently at the Local Government Area is open for all people with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
“All residents within and outside of the Local Government Area come for sample collection in Amuwo Odofin, being a Zonal Centre. Thus, the result is not a true reflection of cases from Amuwo Odofin LGA.
“The Case investigation Team are also going after people who are exposed to COVID-19 patients for sample collection.
“De-contamination of open areas, hospital, markets, health centres etc is currently on-going.
“Health education and community awareness messages on COVID-19 prevention is also on-going at various fora in the Local Government Area.
“My message to residents of Amuwo Odofin and Lagosians at large is: Listen and observe all information from reliable sources, that is: NCDC, Ministry of Health (at both the State and Federal Government level), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Observe personal and environmental hygiene at every point.
“When outside your home kindly use a face mask as directed by Mr. Governor based on medical advice.
“If you have any symptom or know anybody that has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, kindly come for screening at the Local Government secretariat for sample collection.
“All residents should stay calm, there is no cause for the alarm while observing all preventive measures as directed by medical experts.”