By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Chioma Obinna
Lagos State Government said the reported positive cases of COVID-19, as well as fatalities (deaths), are expected to increase in the next two months as it continued to battle with the spread of the ravaging virus in the state.
The Deputy Incident Commander who is also the state’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi stated this during a press briefing on Friday, while giving an update on COVOD-19 situation in the state.
According to the Commissioner, “We have not reached the peak period of the reported cases and deaths of COVID-19. But within the next two months, we are likely to see increase in cases in Lagos.
“Though, what is encouraging us in Lagos is that our testing strategy is on reason exponentially.
“Lagosians who feel unwell with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 are increasing but not dramatically out of control.”
He explained that the Ministry will commence home-based treatment and deployment of telemedicine for mild cases, while only severe cases will be taken to the isolation centres, adding that plans are on to increase the numbers of accredited private hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 cases.
Abayomi said the government was providing psychosocial support to front line health workers and patients while appealing to residents against stigmatising the patients.
He stated that the state was going through community transmission and called on residents especially the vulnerable to always adhere to social distancing and other preventive measures in order to flatten the curve.
While revealing strategies to flatten COVID-19 curve, he stated that the number of test conducted by the state was not enough and that to boost it, five private laboratories would be accredited for testing of samples, saying, what is left is logistics to complete their registration “and when those facilities start work next week, we would be testing more than any state in the country.”
The commissioner, who raised concerns over the number of cases recorded in Alimosho Local Government, said that the five additional facilities would increase the number of private firms accredited for treatment to eight.
According to Abayomi, the accreditation of the five private hospitals would boost treatment of COVID-19 cases in Lagos.
Patients out of Isolation centres’ treatment
Abayomi disclosed that a total of 2,381 COVID-19 patients in Lagos were yet to be admitted in any isolation centre in the state adding that the state contributed 42 per cent out of the 58 per cent of coronavirus burden in Nigeria.
Giving the summary of COVID-19 cases, he said the state accounted for only 23.6 per cent of the recorded deaths due to COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He said: “Under the distribution of cases by local government, Eti-Osa Local Government continues to have the highest number of reported cases of COVID-19 in Lagos State, followed by Mainland and Ikeja councils respectively.
“Lagos has 9,497 confirmed COVID-19 cases. 5,064 are believed to have recovered in the community, 1,470 admitted and discharged, 447 currently admitted while 2,381, yet to be admitted due to wrong information and or preference for self-care at home,” Abayomi added.
He also revealed that five private healthcare facilities have been shortlisted for accreditation and that five private testing facilities have also been identified to assist the state gain control over COVID-19.
In a related development, the Lagos state government is collaborating with the Federal Government to establish Community Care Centres (CCCs) in four Local Governments to test-run the healthcare model in the country as part of efforts to flatten COVID-19 curve in Lagos.
Abayomi and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Olugbenga Aina, explained that the aim behind the strategies was to ensure that the state becomes free from the virus.
Speaking, Aina said four councils where more cases were recorded would serve as a pilot for the initiative and that the four most affected councils since the virus spread to Lagos were Eti-Osa, Alimosho, Mainland and Ikeja local governments.
He explained that the CCCs are small facilities that would be located within the community and run by community health workers to provide isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients in order to prevent further transmission of the virus within their households and communities.
The permanent secretary said: “People with the mild infection of the virus would be able to receive basic curative and palliative care in these centres rather than wanting to visit the major isolation center before getting isolated in Lagos.
“The facility would be provided in conjunction with the Federal Government, they will be within communities where these cases are prevalent and the community must be ready to take responsibility for the centers.”
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