Sanwo-Olu raises alarm, Lagos heading towards Third wave of COVID-19

July 11, 2021
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Sanwo-Olu raises alarm, Lagos heading towards Third wave of COVID-19

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has raised the alarm that Lagos is heading towards the third wave of COVID-19 if efforts are not put in place to nip it in the bud.

Sanwo-Olu, in an urgent press statement on Sunday said it has become imperative to provide Lagosians an update on the Coronavirus pandemic situation in Lagos State, and ongoing response as a State Government.

“Starting around the end of March 2021, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos State began to wind down, and we began to enjoy some reprieve from the worst effects of the virus. This allowed us to further open-up the economy to allow the start of the journey towards full normalcy in our lives and the pursuit of livelihoods, after what has been a very difficult year.

“Regrettably, in spite of the hard work and dedicated efforts towards sustaining the return to normalcy, over the last three months, we are now finding ourselves at what appears to be the start of a potential 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Lagos State,” he lamented.

The governor disclosed that from the beginning of July, Lagos had started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1% at the end of June 2021 to its current rate of 6.6% as at 8th of July 2021.

“The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern. Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our 2 isolation centres increased from an average of 1% to 6%. This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us.

“But we must not be demoralized by this. We must instead resolve that we will not leave any stone unturned in our bid to effectively mitigate the third wave of this pandemic in Lagos State. As you all know, Lagos has been the epicentre of the pandemic since the start, and the way we manage it here has a significant impact and reverberating effect on the national outlook and outcomes.

“So, Nigeria is counting on us in Lagos State to be resolute in our stand against the virus. We will continue to test aggressively. We will also focus on sequencing the samples we are collecting to ensure we are detecting and keeping track of the different variants in circulation. It is only by testing and sequencing comprehensively that we can collect the data required for informed decision-making,” he stated.

According to Sanwo-Olu, as at the 7th of July 2021, Lagos State had recorded a total of 60,202 confirmed cases of COVID-19, saying that of this number, 55,135 have recovered in-community and that 770 were currently being managed actively in community.

He said over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 4,382 patients had been admitted into the state’s various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos: with 357 registered fatalities.

“In all we have tested 563,679 samples in Lagos State since the pandemic started. Today we have 30 accredited testing centers: 26 private and 4 public health laboratories in the State, a significant improvement in capacity over the course of the past year,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu make it clear that outside of the health facilities accredited for the management and treatment of COVID-19, and the EKOTELEMED programme, no other health facilities, whether public or private, were permitted to admit or attend to COVID-19 patients.

‘The Lagos State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) is providing monitoring and surveillance and has been mandated to apply heavy fines and other punitive measures on all facilities found to be in violation of this.

“Lagosians should desist from patronizing non-accredited COVID-19 treatment centers, and proprietors should also ensure that all suspected and confirmed cases are referred appropriately,” he said.

On vaccines, the governor stated that one of the major tenets of the state’s mitigation strategy against the 3rd wave was vaccination campaign, similar to other parts of the world.

“It has been observed by various credible studies that those that have received their 4 vaccines have demonstrated significant resistance to the effects of the virus, with fewer associated complications and deaths.

“As of today, however, the percentage of residents of Lagos who have received two (2) doses of the vaccine stands at a mere 1%. We recognise that this is not adequate, and given the imminent third wave, and our priority to reduce COVID-19 related deaths, we are exploring all avenues possible to ramp up access to vaccination so as to reach our herd immunity target of at least 60% COVID-19 vaccination coverage of the population of Lagos State.

“We are confident that we will be getting a second batch of vaccines very soon, to kick-start the second phase of vaccinations,” he said.

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