Nigeria

Lagos: Coronavirus now circulating in our communities

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed this during an inter-ministerial media update on COVID-19 on Thursday in Ikeja.

Akin Abayomi, the commissioner for health in Lagos, says coronavirus is now circulating on community basis within the state.

He spoke at a press conference on Monday, while responding to a question on efforts to scale up testing capacity.

According to him, testing capacity in Lagos is increasing but still relatively slow when compared to the United States and Europe.

“We have been increasing our testing capacity in line with the strategy to try and identify as many people in the communities with COVID-19, which is one of our strategies,” he said.

“Last week or the week before the last, we tested a total of 400 samples and this immediate past week, that testing capacity went up from 400 to 1400, demonstrating a very dramatic increase in our capacity to test and we can go even further.

“We’re hoping to run at least two to three thousand tests in the coming week as we embark on the active case search in the community; of course, as we test more we’re likely to see more positivity.

“We already know that the virus is circulating in the community, and the more we look for it, the more we will find but that is in keeping with our strategy.”

He said the state expects to see a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, but expressed optimism that preventive measures in place would contain the spread of the virus.

“The more people we can bring into our isolation facilities who have been identified as positive COVID-19, the less the virus can spread, the flatter the curve will be and the more capacity we’ll be able to throw at this outbreak,” he said.

“At the same time in Europe and in the United States, at the same time from their index case, Europe and America has seen thousands and thousands of cases.

“We are still around the 500 mark which indicates that our curve, even though it’s growing gradually, is very flat; it hasn’t kicked.

“We expect more cases, but it’s a rise in cases that’s the important factor; we want a gentle slope and not a steep slope.”

He added that the Lagos strategies in relation to isolation of persons with coronavirus, the containment of the disease, the imposition of social distancing order and active case search “seem to be paying off.”

As of April 19, 2020, Lagos had recorded 376 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 98 persons had been discharged. Nigeria currently has 572 Cases of COVID-19.

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