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Lagos expands COVID-19 response capacity

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The Lagos State government has expanded its COVID-19 response capacity with the accreditation of seven private laboratories to boost its testing capacity and three private hospitals for case management.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this on Friday at a press briefing to give an update on ‘COVID-19Lagos Response, noted that the State remains committed to bringing the outbreak under control, making economic activities continue as best as possible and improving strategies to keep the citizens safe in the face of threats posed by the pandemic.

Abayomi explained that the State government commenced the accreditation and validation of private health facilities to assist in the fight against the virus because of the need to improve COVID-19 response strategy, testing capacity and management of cases, especially in the light of the evolving phase of the outbreak.

According to him, the names of the accredited laboratories are Total Medical Services, Synlab,  54gene, Mebbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services and Clina Lancent Laboratory. “We want to increase our testing capacity even more and one of the tenets of managing this outbreak is to test as many people as possible so that we can employ the principle of isolation.

Right now, we are testing between 500 and 800 persons a day and in the next few weeks, we will have established a consortium of laboratories to carry out the test”, Abayomi said. “These laboratories have all passed our validation, they have been accredited and we will be adding them to our testing consortium, in addition to our already established public laboratories headed by the Lagos State Bio-bank. We are just going through the logistics of having them in the consortium of laboratories and by next week, these laboratories are going to be testing on behalf of the government to provide an expanded testing strategy, so that we can get a clearer understanding of the outbreak in Lagos”, the Commissioner added.

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Giving assurance of the ability of the selected establishments to test individuals, he maintained that, “We are convinced that they can test using the molecular biology test which we call the PCR test and they have all passed 100 percent. As we proceed with the expanded testing strategy, we will be testing between 1000 and 2000 a day when these private laboratories come on stream, which will be anytime from next week”.

Prof. Abayomi also noted that the State government has accredited three private hospitals for management of cases as part of the drive to explore public-private partnership in COVID-19 response, stressing that more private health facilities are indicating interest to partner with the government in the fight against the pandemic.

“At the moment it is illegal to manage COVID-19 cases outside of an accredited facility. As a public, we implore you not to go for test or treatment in a private facility that has not been accredited by the government. It is dangerous to do that; if you do, you might put yourself and your family members in danger and you might certainly put the staff of that facility in danger if they are not practising according to government laid down standards”, he cautioned.

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The Commissioner listed the accredited hospitals to include First Cardiology Hospital, Paelone Memorial Hospital and Verdic Hospital.

Earlier in his COVID-19 situation analysis presentation, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that 9,497 cases have been confirmed COVID-19 positive in Lagos State out of which 5,064 have recovered.

“Of the above number of confirmed cases, 1,470 were admitted and discharged from the State’s COVID care centres, 447 patients are currently admitted in our various COVID care centres, majority of the balance 2,381 have not been picked up due to wrong information. Seven patients were either evacuated or transferred out of our COVID care centres while 128 patients representing 1.3 percent who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lagos State have died”, he said He noted that even though 42 per cent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria have been in Lagos State, the State accounts for only 23.6 percent of the recorded deaths from COVID-19 in Nigeria, pointing out that this suggests competence in the management of confirmed cases in Lagos.

Ogboye stated that Lagos, in the next few weeks, will transit to home-based care option for people who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic so as to cope with the number of positive cases. “To cope with the number of positive cases, we have incorporated what we call the home-based care or the decentralisation of isolation centres.

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In the community, we will be looking for homes where people will be adequately isolated in their environment which does not pose danger to other members of the community”, he said.

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Group congratulates ex-Oyo commissioner, Olowofela on new appointment

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Prof.Olowofela

A socio-political group under the aegis of Tinubu Legacy Forum (TLF) has felicitated with the former Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Oyo state, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela over his appointment as member,  Federal Character Commission (FCC).

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday swore in Professor Olowofela and other board members of the commission in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The group in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Hamzat Olalekan on Friday and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, noted that Olowofela’s optimism, intellect, humility, loyalty, perseverance and political consistency paved way for this appointment; urging him to keep the good personality on strive.

“Following the Senate approval of Prof. Olowofela’s appointment and 36 others’ appointments to the Federal Character Commission (FCC), the entire membership of Tinubu Legacy Forum (TLF), nationwide and diaspora under the BOT Chairman, Alhaji Ganiyu Akeem felicitates and rejoice with him as he was sworn-in yesterday, 2nd July, 2020 alongside other members by the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We believe your optimism, intellect, humility, loyalty, perseverance and political consistency paved way for this appointment; keep the good personality on strive and the sky wouldn’t be your limit.

“Accept our heart-warming congratulations, may God Almighty guide, protect and see you through to the next level”, the statement reads.

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The ex- Ido Local Government gaffer would be representing Oyo state at the Federal Character Commission (FCC).

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Ajimobi will be missed’, Makinde condoles with late governor’s family

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The Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has stated that his predecessor, late Governor Abiola Ajimobi would forever be missed by all and sundry.

Governor Makinde in a condolence letter dated 29th June, 2020, entitled “Letter of Condolence” stressed that late Governor Ajimobi lived a life of service to humanity and has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general, saying, “I have no doubt he will be missed by all and sundry”.

It would be recalled that the former governor was reportedly died of complications from Coronavirus on Thursday June 25 at the First Cardiology Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos and his remains were laid to rest at his , Oluyole residence on Sunday June 28, 2020.

 

According to the letter which was personally signed by Governor Makinde on behalf of the government and good people of Oyo State, also commiserated with the family over the shocking demise of Ajimobi.

 

The letter which was received and acknowledged on Saturday, (04/07/2020) by the bereaved family reads in part, “our consolation however, is that Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has brought his rich wealth of experience for the transformation of the state.

“As we mourn his passage, let us take solace in the righteous life he lived and his legacies which we shall fondly remember. May God Almighty give members of the family, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”, the governor submitted.

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COVID-19: ‘We will continue to support health workers’ – Makinde

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Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Saturday, commissioned the upgraded Agbami Isolation Centre, Jericho, Ibadan, declaring that health workers will continue to receive strong support in the fight against coronavirus in the state.

The governor, who was accompanied on the trip to Agbami by his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, and other top government functionaries, stated that the welfare of frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19 will remain top on his administration’s agenda.

He said: “I want to also thank health workers, because you are the frontline in this battle, and you have had to work with facilities that are not up to standard but we have been partners in progress as far as lifting our health care delivery system in the state. Please, do not relent. Let us keep doing this together to defeat COVID-19.”

The governor’s !media aide,  Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde  as saying that though the Agbami facility was commissioned at the twilight of the last administration in the state, it  wasn’t equipped for proper use as an Isolation Centre.

According to him, the said facility was  commissioned as a Tuberculosis Centre by the immediate past administration but his government has upgraded it as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.

He stated that the building would serve the high-end members of the society who test positive to the virus and are in need of privacy.

According to him,”there is nothing really much to say today apart from the fact that this facility was commissioned at the twilight of the last administration. Before we came in, it was a TB centre at that time. We didn’t know there would be COVID-19 pandemic but here we are dealing with the virus.

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“We give the past administration the credit for putting this together, even though it was commissioned when it was not ready. I came here, went inside and there was absolutely nothing inside. Now that we have the pandemic on our hands, it will serve high-end individuals in Oyo State who are not comfortable going to Olodo because they want privacy and comfortability.

“We know some of you have aged parents at home and because we have to give concession for such individuals to self-isolate at home and we monitor them, now we don’t have to do much of that anymore because with the facility here, you can self-isolate.

“You will go inside and we give you the treatment. We will ensure that you don’t infect others and once you have been properly managed, you go back to your various homes.

“I battled COVID-19. It is not a death sentence and it is nothing to be ashamed of. The virus is here with us and will be here for some time to come. It will not disappear two or three weeks from now. So, we have to learn how to live with it. If anyone is feeling sick, there are facilities. We have taken the opportunity of the pandemic to strengthen our health care facilities. When it is no longer here, our facilities will remain and we will maintain them.

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“So, it is not a big deal that anyone tests positive to COVID-19 and I am not ashamed of it. I fought the virus and I am up and about now. I pray that as many of us that will fight the virus will come out of it doing very well. Don’t self-isolate at home now. If you are a high-end individual, you can come here. You don’t also need to go and hide at private hospitals where they don’t have the facility, personnel and resources to ensure you have adequate care.”

The governor also stated that the rooms  at the Agbami isolation centre have been well-equipped and fixed with oxygen concentrators.

“This facility has been upgraded now and it is now an isolation centre. We have an oxygen concentrator there and you will get the type of care you deserve,” he said.

The governor also appreciated a member of the state’s COVID-19 Task Force and former Chief Medical Director of the UCH, Professor Temitope ALonge and his team for the good job they have done and are still doing in putting up isolation centres.

He said: “I want to thank Professor Temitope Alonge for this work that you and the team have been doing and are still doing. We are quite blessed in Oyo State because we have the resources and people who can hold their own if you take them anywhere around the globe.

“I also thank the people of Oyo State for their support for this administration. If we look at where we are coming from, it has been a challenging environment. When we started the year, we had high hopes. But now, we have to shave off almost 35 per cent of our budget for the year simply because we are faced with a pandemic and economic meltdown. In spite of all of that, with the support of the good people of the state, we have been able to keep moving on.

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“We do not take the support for granted. Keep criticising us constructively on what we are doing. Anything we are doing, which you think we can do better, bring it up to us and we will make the necessary adjustments.”

Other officials in attendance at the event include the Head of Service, Mrs. Amidst Ololade Agboola; Professor Alonge and the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, among others.

 

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