Coronavirus scare: Lagos safe from disease – Sanwo-Olu

By Harry Awurumibe, State House, Abuja

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has restated the fact that Lagos State and Nigeria as a country has not recorded any case of the dreaded Coronavirus epidemic ravaging parts of China and Europe.
Speaking to the State House Correspondents Thursday after the second National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President Professor Yemi Osibanjo at Presidential Villa Abuja, Sanwo-Olu revealed that few persons suspected of having the Coronavirus in Lagos State have tested negative.
The Governor’s briefing which centerd on Health Matters went thus:
“We were briefed about the status of Corvid-19 which is the Coronavirus worldwide disease by the ministers of health, the director-general of the national primary health board. As of February 25th, we have worldwide confirmed over 80,239 cases, we have over 2700 deaths worldwide. In Africa, it’s been confirmed that only Egypt and Algeria have confirmed cases but we have seen a transition in countries outside of China – Italy, South Korea, and a few other countries.
In Nigeria, the good news is, yes there have been a total of 11 suspected cases but all the 11 have turned out to be negative. In fact, there was a scare in Lagos yesterday (Wednesday), about two cases but all have been confirmed negative as we speak. But Nigeria still places itself on high risk, as also advised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“So, what the federal and all the states are doing, we are looking at all the international airports that we have as major entry points: Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt they continued to be a major source of external in-road to the country. The alertness in each of these airports is very high. But we also have court testing facilities and are ready at the NCDC lab in Abuja, Luth in Lagos, in Edo State and also the University of Osun, all have been activated and all state governments have been told to have a level of preparedness.

“The minister told us what they are also doing in terms of public sensitization, and they are also ensuring that there is an enhanced screening especially at the ports of entry. We are strengthening the deployment of digital screening when visitors are coming in sometimes they won’t even know that cameras are watching you and are taking pictures, they have all of them in-store at the airport that I mentioned.
We were also given an update around the last fever that we have in the country currently. In the last month, we have about 103 cases nationwide and we recorded 13 deaths and they are in 18 states that this incidence has appeared including Edo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Enugu, Gombe, Katsina, Kogi, Sokoto, Taraba, Delta, Rivers, Adamawa, Nasarawa and Lagos. Of all these co firmed cases, about 72 per cent of them are prevalent in Edo, Ondo and Ebonyi states. So the ministry of health and federal government are concentrating on these three major states.

” But what we have seen between the first of January to 23rd of February, as I have said, there have been a total of 690 confirmed cases and 118 deaths. The first one I have was in the last week which was 103 and 13 death but since the first of January to 23 February we have had 690 cases and we had a total of 118 death reported. But we are told that it’s been well managed, there has been a drop of about 15 per cent year-on-year. It’s a seasonal disease but year-on-year there is a national drop of about 15 per cent already.
What are other efforts put in place?

There is national multi-sectoral emergency operation centres being activated. They also said that all the states health emergency operation centres to have also been activated. Necessary response commodities like injections, drugs have all been deployed to all the states of the federation and intensive sensitization is all going on as explained by the honourable minister.
Regarding update on polio eradication and improving routine immunization in Nigeria, the good news is that by June 21st, 2020 there is going to be a continental declaration of polio-free. Meaning that Africa will be declared polio-free by June 21, 2020. There has been only one indent since October 2019 of circulating vaccine-derived polio but integrated medical outreach programme aimed at rapidly wrapup immunization vaccine to under-served communities and vulnerable communities are still going on. We are also informed that the Vice President will be flagging off an outreach programme that will start March 16 in Abuja and all the other states will start their own by March 21, 2010. All state government and governors should scale it up and ensure that the successes that we are seeing, we do not lose firm of it. So those are the two briefs that I have on health.

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