By Nimot Sulaimon
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has expressed worry over the third wave of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Delta variant.
He noted the fragility of the state as visitors with positive COVID-19 status come into the state from all over the world, bypassing stringent preventive laws.
Speaking at the South West Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, the commissioner revealed that demand for vaccines in Lagos is very high.
While noting that Lagos is beginning to see increasing activities at public and accredited private laboratories over the last three months which suggests that many more people are testing positive to COVID, Abayomi said the increasing numbers of COVID positive cases is inevitable in Lagos because of the cosmopolitan nature of the State.
“We have had three months of peace, and you may think we have been resting but we have not, because it is during times of peace that we actually work harder and we have been anticipating the third wave because we watch the global environment, we watch what is going on the continent and Lagos will inevitably see some increasing activities because of the cosmopolitan nature of this megacity.
“Daily, we receive visitors from all over the world and despite our very stringent guidelines and operating procedure at the airport we still see people who are positive coming in and our attempt to prevent them from infecting other members of the community is not always 100%.
“So if we are beginning to see the beginning of a third wave, we are not surprised that the request for vaccines has also increased. Members of the cabinet, Mr Governor and I receive daily calls on when the next batch of vaccines are coming in. I will like to reassure you that the demand for Lagos for vaccines is high none less we still need to hit that high target of 60% vaccination hopefully before the end of this year or going into the beginning of next year if we are going to prevent these waves of new variants coming into Lagos and trying to force us to shut down our economy.
“It is Mr Governor’s determined resolution that Lagos will not shut down its economy again, and for us to do that, it is not just the government; the government will do everything its power to reduce the opportunity for viruses to come in and create havoc.
”Meanwhile, it is also a civic responsibility of everybody and that is why we are asking everyone to follow the rules and regulations and be each other’s brother and sister keepers by maintaining social distancing, respiration and personal hygiene and if feeling unwell, get tested for COVID”.
The Commissioner noted that Lagos State testing capacity is close to three thousand daily stressing that a lot of the COVID tests were done free of charge. He added that the State government will continue to make COVID treatment available and do all it can to win the war against the global pandemic.
“We will continue to make an adequate amount of oxygen available for those that need it and we will do everything in our power together with the Federal Government of Nigeria to make available COVID vaccines so that we will be able to meet the deadline line by set by the WHO and other health institutions”, Abayomi said.