The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said COVID-19 tests in public health facilities are not for travel purpose, but only for people with symptoms of COVID-19.
The governor said on Sunday this while giving an update on COVID-19 management in the state.
Although COVID-19 testing is free at public facilities, the governor said it is only for those ”who have symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, inability to smell or taste, headaches or general body weakness—or those who have come into close contact with anyone with the symptoms”.
“Testing at our public health facilities cannot be used for travel purposes. Anyone wishing to test as a requirement for travel or other work-related requirements must do so at any of the 21 private laboratories accredited by Lagos State for COVID testing,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor did not elaborate further on why results approved at public facilities cannot be used for travel purposes.
COVID-19 test is a requirement for international travellers at international airports in Nigeria.
The Lagos state government had earlier approved private laboratories for COVID-19 testing where non-essential COVID-19 tests can be carried out. The test costs about N50, 000 at the private laboratories.
Lagos State has 21 private and 4 public health laboratories accredited for COVID-19 testing. So far, a total of 316,801 samples have been tested, with 47,871 diagnosed as Positive.
Speaking on oxygen usage by COVID-19 patients in the state, Mr Sanwo-Olu said oxygen is administered free of charge at government-owned health facilities.
“The Government wishes to reiterate that oxygen is free at all Lagos State-owned COVID-19 Treatment Centres. The Lagos State Government does not charge for the use of oxygen in its centres.
“Considering that oxygen demand has spiked to between 300 and 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, the Government is working hard to ensure that availability and supply are very easily able to meet and even surpass this demand,” he said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu added that the state is constructing a second oxygen plant at the Gbagada General Hospital and this will come on-stream within the next seven days.
The new oxygen plant will boost the in-house capacity and availability of oxygen across all State Government managed treatment centres, he said.
The governor disclosed that as of January 29, Lagos State has recorded 47,871 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 34,094 have recovered in community, while 9,856 are currently active in the community.
“Over the last 12 months, about 3,988 COVID-related patients have been admitted into the various care centres across the State; with a registered fatality rate of approximately 0.63% (301 deaths),” he said.
The governor also disclosed that the test positivity ratio for January is 24 per cent, in which one out of every four tests conducted returns positive, which is the highest monthly average recorded in the last six months.
Mr Sanwo-Olu encouraged patients that are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of COVID-19 to take advantage of the established telemedicine service, EKOTELEMED, as 5,000 patients have been reached through the initiative so far.
“EKOTELEMED is manned by well-trained medical personnel and is available on a toll-free line, 08000EKOMED (08000356633).”
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