…As 58,222 test positive; LASG maps out strategy against third wave infections
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Chioma Obinna
Over three fifths (61 percent) of travelers who arrived in Lagos State in April 2021 have been untraceable till date in the curtailment efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this yesterday, also said a total of 58, 222 persons have so far tested positive to COVID-19 in the State since the onset of the pandemic in the country.
Abayomi, who spoke during the 2021 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration, said 66 percent of the travelers had Lagos as their final destination, while 28 percent filled no address in Nigeria or filled a foreigh address.
“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.
”The other 61 per cent were untraceable till date in the curtailment efforts against COVID-19 in the state,” he noted.
Abayomi, who stated that the second wave of the COVID-19 infections which spread more rapidly across Lagos State than the first wave, would have wreaked havoc in the country, explained that the response strategy put in place by the State government efficiently curtailed the pandemic and limited fatalities.
58,222 test positive to COVID-19
On the total number of COVID-19 positive cases recorded, Abayomi said 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.”
He said about 260,000 persons vaccinated against COVID-19 represents just one per cent of the population.
Abayomi said the effectiveness of the State’s response strategy saved the country from negative impacts associated with the 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.
Further, he said there was an ongoing effort to prevent the third wave of the pandemic, noting that Lagos had started the deployment of the 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 travelers.
3rd wave of infections warning
Warning that Nigeria stood the risk of experiencing a third wave having vaccinated only less than one per cent of it’s population, he noted that 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 third or fourth wave following a less active 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, ” he stated.
Abayomi, said 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.