Lagos now tests 850 persons for COVID-19 daily

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* Sanwo-Olu expresses worry on violation easing lockdown

Lagos State Government has scaled up testing capacity in the four testing facilities across the state to about 850 tests daily.

The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this on Saturday during the eleventh update on Coronavirus pandemic in the State.

According to the Governor, this was easily scalable to 1500 and 2000 subject to the availability of extraction kits, considering the acute global shortage.

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

Explaining the reason for the recent high rate of positive cases in the State, Sanwo-Olu said 50% of the backlog had been cleared.

He added that suppliers of kits were the manufacturers and their local representatives but bid was open to any company of repute and integrity who could supply the desired kits to specification.

The Governor further stated that he has mandated the state laboratory apparatus to commence the local production of certain items used for the diagnostic process and this has commenced already.

Sanwo-Olu  also revealed that the state had also started a biweekly procurement of laboratory needs to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests were done in about 2 months.

“In addition to increasing Testing capacity, we are also actively increasing our isolation capacity. You will also see a change in our Isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralization.

“What this means is that we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients.

“We must be careful to ensure that this is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases,” he said.

He confirmed the estimate by the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, that by July, the state might have as many as 120,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“That is a projection – it does not necessarily have to be our reality. However, the only way to ensure that projections do not become reality, is taking the projections as a warning, and using them 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,” the Governor said.

He expressed worry about the level of violation of the gradual easing of the lockdown by commercial transport sector operations, especially the Yellow Buses, commercial motorcycle.

The Governor added that the ban on Inter-state travel except for essential goods and services was also consistently flouted.

“In many cases people decided to make the final leg of the journey into the State on foot, to beat the restrictions.

“Trucks and other vehicles carrying items designated as essential, have also played major roles in flouting the guidelines, by conspiring to conceal and smuggle people in and out of the State,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu also stated that the reports about mask usage in public places had also not been encouraging.

He said many people were still choosing to go out without masks or face coverings of any kind.

He reiterated that the success of this gradual easing of the lockdown was dependent upon the compliance of each and everyone.

 

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