… Says 61 per cent inbound travellers in Lagos untraceable in April
.1 per cent of residents vaccinated in the first phase
..As Lagos rolls out strategic plans against 3rd wave
By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Chioma Obinna
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, has disclosed that 58, 222 patients tested positive for COVID-19 so far in Lagos.
He also revealed that only 39 per cent of travellers who arrived in the state last month, April, were able to be traced while 61 per cent were untraceable to date in the curtailment efforts against COVID-19 in the state.
Abayomi, disclosed this on Tuesday, during the 2021 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration held at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
He said the state government was poised to take
steps to prevent the third wave of COVID-19, following the flattening of the second wave.
He said, the second wave of COVID-19 which spread more rapidly across Lagos State than the first wave, would have wreaked havoc on the country but the response strategy put in place by the Governor efficiently curtailed the pandemic and limited fatalities.
The commissioner said the effectiveness of the State’s response strategy saved the country from negative impacts associated with the pandemic’s second wave as seen in other countries.
He added that EKO TELEMED – a tech-driven platform through which the state government managed the spread of the virus – yielded efficient results in breaking the cycle of community infection.
The commissioner said there was an ongoing effort by the State Government to prevent the third wave of the pandemic, noting that Lagos had started the deployment of EKO TELEMED in the management of in-bound international travellers from high burdened countries.
The tech-driven platform, he said, would be used to monitor movement and treat infected travellers.
On a total number of Covid-19 positive cases recorded, Abayomi said that out of 460, 647 samples tested,58,222 were positive.
“In public laboratories, 168,312, samples processed representing 37 per cent, while private laboratories recorded 292,335 processed samples representing 63 per cent of positive cases,” Abayomi stated.
He however said that only 39 per cent of travellers who arrived in the state last month, April, were able to be traced while 61 per cent were untraceable to date in the curtailment efforts against COVID-19 in the state.
“Of the 123 passengers of interest tracked between April 13 and 27, 110 (89 per cent) were called by EKOTELEMED with only 39 per cent reached and tracked; 66 per cent had Lagos as their final destination while about 28 per cent filled in no address in Nigeria or filled in a foreign address,” Abayomi stated.
He said about 260,000 persons vaccinated against COVID-19 represents just one per cent of the population.
The commissioner warned that Nigeria stood the risk of experiencing a third wave having vaccinated only less than one per cent of its population.
Abayomi said health facilities in Lagos State have been placed on red alert to pick up early trends that may suggest a third wave of COVID-19.
“Currently, countries like India, Brazil, Argentina, Iraq, Qatar, Peru and Uruguay are being ravaged by a vicious third or fourth wave following a less active and insignificant second or third wave.
“The latest wave in India has been proven to be as a result of new mutant strains that have resulted in a dramatic increase in sickness and death for two weeks running.
“While we commiserate with these countries, it is important that we protect our environment and residents against this virus,” he stated.
According to Abayomi, Lagos was working towards ensuring a 60 per cent herd immunity, representing 14 million persons, was achieved, and recalcitrated that the state was also taking steps to curb a third wave of the virus.
Such measures, he said, include aggressive testing, including mutant PCR testing to identify the particular virus strain; deployment of technology (EKOTELEMED) to track and monitor inbound travellers; enforcing non-pharmaceutical interventions; increase in oxygen supply and vaccination.
He said that the government had embarked on a total overhaul of infrastructure across all levels of its healthcare delivery system, saying that the roadmap for the upgrade of infrastructure in the State-owned health facilities began last year, following the approval of the plan by the executive council.
The commissioner explained that the infrastructure roadmap was being executed by the ministry’s Medical Project Implementation Unit (MPIU) in phases, revamping facilities across primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. He said the overhaul was part of a strategy to build resilient healthcare in Lagos and increase residents’ access to quality universal health coverage.
Abayomi said the effort would bring about fit-for-purpose healthcare facilities that would raise the capacity of the State Government to respond to contemporary and future health challenges, while observing that the renewal effort was being carried out on a short, medium- and long-term basis.
Part of the new features to be seen, the commissioner said, would include improved efficiency for physical maintenance, ease of movement, low carbon footprint, low energy consumption, infection prevention and control as well as staff and patient comfort.
“We have renovated and remodelled the Mainland Hospital in Yaba with future plans of making it an Institute of Research for Infectious Disease. We have also completed the remodelling and upgraded of Apapa General Hospital, just as we currently renovate Harvey Road Health Centre, Ebute Metta Health Centre, Isolo General Hospital and the General Hospital, Odan Lagos. All of these are in the effort to make health accessible.”
According to the commissioner, the Sanwo-Olu-led administration had completed, equipped and handed over two multi-level Maternal and Childcare Centre (MCC) in Eti-Osa and Badagry.
“The construction of another 110-bed MCC has been completed in Epe and is due for commissioning in the coming weeks,” Abayomi stated.