By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos State recorded about six deaths daily in one week since the COVID-19 third wave hit Nigeria, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.
Sanwo-Olu made this known on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, while briefing newsmen on the management of COVID-19 in the state.
He said that from the beginning of the outbreak in February 2020 to date, Lagos State had recorded a total of 64,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
According to him, of this number, 56,336 have recovered in community and 2,755 are currently being managed actively in community.
”Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 5,029 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos.
”We have, sadly, recorded 390 fatalities in Lagos State, 30 of which have taken place in this current 3rd wave of the pandemic.
”Essentially, we have recorded on average six deaths per day since last week,” he said.
The governor said that the number of confirmed cases started to rise in July, with the positivity rate going from 1.1 per cent in June to seven per cent in July.
He said that presently, the positivity rate stood at 8.9 per cent, an 8-fold increase over the figure recorded a month ago, hence, should rightly alarm all residents.
The COVID-19 Incident Commander said that eight-fold increase had resulted in 4,300 confirmed cases in July alone, and 352 admissions into the isolation facilities.
According to him, the alarm should not be responded to with panic, but instead with a firm resolve and determination to reverse the trend.
”We have done it before, and we can do it again. We dealt with the first and second waves and did our best to prevent a third wave.
”But now that it is fully upon us, we must dig deep into what we have learnt from the previous waves, as well as summon the will to do everything necessary to bring down the numbers, on the way to eventually defeating the virus,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the non-pharmaceutical interventions of mandatory face masks and physical distancing in public places, regular hand washing must be taken seriously.
He added that the avoidance of all non-essential movement must continue to be taken seriously.
”Most particularly, I would reiterate the need for everyone to wear face masks/coverings when out and about their daily activities.
”We have incontrovertible evidence that wearing face masks help in slowing down the spread of the virus, particularly the now more dominant strains.
”All establishments, offices, entertainment spots, commercial spaces, and religious houses are mandated to provide handwashing or sanitising facilities, and to ensure that no persons are admitted without the use of face masks.
”Proprietors of public transport services must also refrain from admitting noncomplying passengers into their vehicles. It is only by strictly adhering to these rules that we can stand a chance of taming this virus.
”The third wave is already here with us, as much as we would have wished for a more positive outcome. We do not have a choice than to tackle it.
“We are no longer inexperienced, as a people, in dealing with the coronavirus,” the governor said.
He said that 18 months into the pandemic, the state had learnt a lot, seen progress and setbacks, and had been able to finetune its strategies and response.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state was now in a good place to ensure that the third wave was the final one.
He said that the pandemic chapter could be closed very soon, if everyone put in the work, the compliance, the regard for rules and restriction.