Coronavirus: Lagos has excess testing capacity – Commissioner

The 110-bed Isolation Center at Mobolaji Johnoson, Stadium, Onikan, Lagos Island, constructed by the Lagos State Government and Guaranty Trust Bank, unveiled on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
The 110-bed Isolation Center at Mobolaji Johnoson, Stadium, Onikan, Lagos Island, constructed by the Lagos State Government and Guaranty Trust Bank, unveiled on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, says the state has excess testing capacity for coronavirus infection and is not under pressure in terms of testing.

The commissioner, at a press briefing at the state secretariat on Tuesday, said the state is escalating the molecular testing capacity to be able to do more tests in a day.

Nigeria has recorded 135 cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday, with Lagos at the top of the chart with 81 confirmed cases.

“We still have an excess testing capacity, we have three reference laboratories in Lagos, each of those facilities is testing up to 50 per day, so we have about 150 tests per day. We are increasing that capacity by the day, hopefully, we will be able to get to 200 and so on.”

Mr Abayomi said the molecular test laboratories are more effective and less time-consuming and give 100 per cent accurate results. He said the state is ahead of the outbreak while building more capacity.

Speaking on Jack Ma’s donation, Mr Abayomi said the equipment will be apportioned to each state by the federal government, according to the needs of the states.

“Lagos State has capacity at the moment and not under any stress in terms of access to PPE or testing capacities,” he said.

The commissioner said the state has 81 cases with eight recoveries and no death. He said 66 cases are due to transmission within Lagos and 15 cases came off a vessel that was manoeuvring the coasts of Lagos doing oil and gas work.

“Most of the patients are experiencing a mild to moderate degree of the illness, no patient requires ventilation at the moment.

“I will estimate that about 33 of the 66 are mild, about 33 are showing moderate diseases characterised by severe fever, some coughing, and general body pain,” he said.

When asked whether the number of testing facilities and health practitioners is commensurate with the population in the state, the commissioner said the strategies being deployed by the state are effective to combat it and there is no shortage of health workers at the moment.

“Lagos has 27 general hospitals and almost 300 health practitioners and a teaching hospital. We are not struggling at the moment, we have health professionals and volunteers.”

He said about 50 to 60 professionals are being trained daily, including health practitioners who have gone into voluntary retirement and are coming back.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Lagos govt moves patient to new facility

“The strategies we are deploying in Lagos is effective, we are only seeing between six and ten positive cases in a day, that is a very slow rate of increase compared to what we see in Europe and other countries where the increase is by hundreds and thousands.”

He said the state is keeping ahead of the outbreak and even if there is a surge of the virus, it would not be as much as the cases in Europe and the rest of the world, given the aggressive approach of the state.

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The commissioner said if people continue to practice social distancing, a flattening of the virus curve would be achieved in no time.

Mr Abayomi said the survival rate of coronavirus in Lagos is 100 per cent, with eight discharged patients, zero death, and the stable condition of other patients.



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