By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has expressed concern over the increasing number of runaway patients tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, describing it as “disturbing.”
Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, made the remark on Friday, during a media briefing on the update of COVID-19 situation in the state, held in Alausa, Ikeja.
Responding to questions on discrepancy over bed capacity and the number of cases, Abayomi said: “Speaking on the discrepancy in the number of active cases and the amount of occupancy of our isolation facilities, two factors are responsible.
“One, we just opened Gbagada General Hospital Isolation Facility and yet to admit most of the patients and as soon as we fill-up the Gbagada facility our occupancy capacity will increase from 45 per cent to about 80 per cent.
“Other factor, is a situation we (Lagos government/officials) are experiencing. When we test people, sometimes we find put very difficult to locate them thereafter.
“The ambulances will go into communities and people will flee their homes, thereby, making it difficult for us to find them.
“They shut their doors and switched off their phones. I think this is because people are afraid to come to Isolation centres. And we don’t have the type of leverage yo start hunting people down.
“We are relying on community cooperation to work with. Because when you are tested positive we expect you to cooperate with us and be accessible to us in your own interest so that we can access if you are mild or Asymptomatic. If you are we discharge you in few days.
“And if you are moderate or severe, at least you have the opportunity to give you the treatment that will stop you from getting into a critical state. Our isolation centres are very comfortable. We have made a lot of improvement since the Ebola outbreak.
“And from the testimonies of those who have been to our facilities will bear us witness.
“There is nothing to be afraid of because our staff are highly professional. I have implicit confidence in their abilities.
“Members of the executive and senior people in government have been admitted into those facilities. If I test positive, I will go to one of those facilities,”
“It is better to come out for treatment than hiding yourself. We don’t want to see a high record of fatalities in our beloved Lagos State. If you are tested positive to COVID-19, please don’t run away from our authorities. Its not a death sentence. You can call our emergency line on 08000corona, 08000267662 for help and assistance.”