Sanwo-Olu addressing newsmen

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has opened up on why Lagos is recording huge Coronavirus infections in the last few days.

As at Friday, May 8, 2020, Lagos has 1,683 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and has discharged 448 patients and lost 33 people.

The governor, while giving update on Coronavirus situation in the state, said that the success of its efforts at ramping up testing, was part of the reason why the state was seeing a significant escalation in the number of cases in Lagos State.

He said in the last six days since his last address, while the state had seen a 32% increase in the number of fatalities in Lagos State, and a 62% increase in the number of confirmed cases, the state had also seen a remarkable 100% increase in the number of persons who have fully recovered.

“This trend of recoveries is very encouraging, and we believe it will continue at this rate. It gives us some of the much-needed confidence to face the difficult days and weeks ahead.

“Let me say, as I have said before, that the success of our efforts, at ramping up testing, is part of the reason why we are seeing a significant escalation in the number of cases in Lagos State.

“Quite clearly, also, we are firmly in the community transmission stage of the infection, and the only way to be sure we are making all the right decisions is ensuring that we continue to scale up testing. We now have four testing facilities in Lagos State, and we remain grateful to the NCDC and all other partners who are involved,” he said.

According to Sanwo-Olu “Our combined lab capacity is at about 850 tests daily. This is easily scalable to 1,500 and 2,000 subject to the availability of extraction kits considering the acute global shortage.

“Lagos State has paid for over 20,000 extraction kits and has placed an order for another 20,000 in its bid to test at least 120,000 in the next 60 days.

“50% of the backlog, I spoke about recently, has been cleared which is also responsible for the recent seemingly high rate of positive cases in the last couple of days.

“Suppliers of kits are the manufacturers and their local representatives. However, the bid is open to any company with repute and integrity who can supply the desired kits to specification,” he added.

In this same vein, the governor said he had also mandated the state laboratory apparatus to commence the local
production of certain items used for the diagnostic process and that this had commenced already.

He added that the State had also started a bi-weekly procurement of laboratory needs to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests were done in a about two months.

Sanwo-Olu said in addition to increasing Testing capacity, the State had also actively increasing its isolation capacity.

“You will also see a change in our Isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation.

“What this means is that we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients. We must be careful to ensure that this is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases.

“There is also the important task of ensuring that we are collecting all the right data and using these data to plan and to revise our response as a State.

“I am pleased to note that Lagos State is developing an emergency digital response platform that will help us collect the data necessary for informed decision-making,” he said.