COVID-19: Lagos to introduce community management of cases

COVID-19: Lagos to introduce community management of cases

Saturday, May 9, 2020 11:06 pm

L-R:  Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State;   Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor and Dr Wale Ahmed, Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, during a statewide address on the gradual ease of lockdown in the state, at the Lagos House, Marina, on Saturday. (NAN)

Lagos State Government says it will introduce the management of COVID-19 patients at community levels, so as to enhance the management of cases in the state.

The state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made the disclosure while giving an update on the management of COVID-19 and review of the lockdown easing in the state on Saturday.

Sanwo-Olu said that the government would be accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients.

According to him, the state will be careful to ensure that this is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases.

The governor said that the community management plan was a strategy to actively increase the isolation capacity.

“You will see a change in our isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition toward decentralisation,’’ he said.

Sanwo-Olu, the ‘COVID-19 Incident Commander’ said that the state was in the community transmission stage of the infection

“And, the only way to be sure of making all the right decisions is to continue to scale up testing.’’

He said that the state now had four testing facilities in Lagos State, which had the capacity of about 850 tests daily.

According to him, this is easily scalable to 1,500 and 2000, subject to the availability of extraction kits considering the acute global shortage.

“Lagos State has paid for over 20,000 extraction kits and has placed an order for another 20,000 in its bid to test at least 120,000 in the next 60 days.

“Fifty per cent of the backlog, I spoke about recently, has been cleared, which is also responsible for the recent seemingly high rate of positive cases in the last couple of days.

“Suppliers of kits are the manufacturers and their local representatives.

“However, the bid is open to any company with reputation and integrity, who can supply the desired kits to specification.

“In this same vein, I have also mandated the state laboratory apparatus to begin the local production of certain items used for the diagnostic process and this has started already.

“We have also started a bi-weekly procurement of laboratory needs to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests are done in about two months,’’ he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that there was also the important task of ensuring that the state was collecting all the right data and using these data to plan and to revise its response.

He said that his administration was developing an emergency digital response platform that would help in the collection of data necessary for informed decision making.

“While we will continue to pay attention to the stories and experiences being shared in other places, I would like to assure that the data we gather, and the safety of all of you, the good people of Lagos will continue to be the prime determinants of our decision-making.

“Yesterday, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed that our data modelling estimates that by July, we may have as many as 120,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lagos.

“That is a projection, it does not necessarily have to be our reality.

“However, the only way to ensure that projection does not become reality, is taking it as a warning and using it to influence and modify our behaviour towards greater compliance and discipline.

“As citizens, we have a great burden upon us, to behave responsibly.

“These times demand a lot from us, in terms of actions and behaviours that may not be comfortable.

“To stay alive and well, we have to abandon old habits and customs and adopt new ones,’’ Gov. Sanwo-Olu said.

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