COVID-19: Sanwo-Olu Advises Lagosians To Test Any Malaria Symptom

Following the increase in number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, Lagos State governor has said that any malaria-like symptoms should henceforth be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until proven not to be one. Speaking during a press conference on COVID-19 Update in Ikeja, Lagos, recently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the decision has become necessary untill Lagos State residents and Nigerians in general begin to learn to live and act responsibly, in order to augment the government's efforts and previous success of flattening the curve. He, therefore, advised that anyone with such symptoms should proceed to any of the state's public health facilities or laboratories to get tested for free, noting that "Seeking help early and quickly significantly improves the chances of survival for severe to critical cases. The governor also said that the increase in the positivity of coronavirus cases in the second wave has necessitated the greater amount of oxygen for the moderate to severe cases of admission in all the isolation centres. Sanwo-Olu remarked that the alarming trend of COVID-19 has necessitated the reopening of some of the previously closed isolation centres, such as the INDO Isolation Centre and Gbagada Isolation Center to contain the rising cases and reflattening the curve in the shortest possible time. Said he: "Over the last few weeks, the demands for oxygen has risen from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital. This is projected to more than double to 750 sixcylinders, before the end of January 2021. ln addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State government has decentralized the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks. Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that require them. "Five of these 10 oxygen centers have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks. It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of LGAs as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres, if required. "This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy, he said. On the issues surrounding the resumption of schools in Lagos State in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government, Sanwo-Olu said commencement of school activities "was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of covid-19, but I assure you it was the best decision for our children's safety and longterm development, especially our most vulnerable children.  He stressed that the need for students to return to school to continue their education at various levels, but that almost 24,000 students were yet to report in public schools after last year's lockdown necessitated by the first wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria. "Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week, Sanwo-Olu stated. Sanwo-Olu noted that at least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they should be monitored if not would just be roaming the streets and become endangered. He observed there had seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that were being done to these children and believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them, adding that roster had been done to ensure that there was social distance and monitoring. Sanwo-Olu also revealed that Lagos State government has opened discussions with some vaccine manufacturers to ensure that residents are catered for. He said: "We are closely monitoring ongoing action by the Federal Government to procure COVID-19 vaccines for use in Nigeria. We have also opened discussions with vaccine manufacturers so that when the vaccine comes eventually we can ensure that Lagosians are catered for. "In the meantime we are developing a strategy that will articulate the criteria, guidelines and regulatory framework for providing and monitoring vaccinations in Lagos. "The Lagos State government is actively partnering with the private sector in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the areas of testing, oxygen deployment, as well as the clinical management of moderate to severe cases. These partnerships have helped enhance the State's response to the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic.

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