COVID-19: Lagos raises the alarm over fake test results, inaugurates 10 oxygen centres

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Lagos Government has raised the alarm over sale of fake COVID-19 results in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, disclosed this during a media briefing on the update of the second wave of COVID-19 in Lagos, yesterday.

“It has come to our attention that a number of the people are patronizing individuals that sell fake COVID-19 results. We are currently putting in processes to identify both buyers and sellers, and we will not hesitate to prosecute either to the full extent of the law,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government said it will inaugurate 10 oxygen and sampling centres to improve management of severe-to-critical COVID-19 cases in the state.

Abayomi said the state would deploy oxygen therapy centres in high burden local government areas to manage severe-to-critical COVID-19 patients.

According to him, the centres were sited at Mother and Child Centre, Eti-Osa; General Hospital, Alimosho; General Hospital, Isolo; Aguda Primary Healthcare Centre, Surulere; General Hospital, Gbagada; Mother and Child Centre, Ifako Ijaiye; Ibeju-Lekki Primary Healthcare Centre; General Hospital, Apapa; Odi Olowu Primary Healthcare Centre, Mushin and Amuwo-Odofin Mother and Child Centre.

READ ALSO: Sanwo-Olu orders civil servants to work from home as COVID-19 cases rise in Lagos

Abayomi said the centres at Eti-Osa, Alimosho and Isolo were already completed, while the remaining seven would be completed in the next two weeks.

He said medical oxygen was the primary treatment for the majority of patients who suffered severe COVID-19 symptoms.

”Many of these patients present late to the isolation centres, thus leading to fatalities. This life-saving gas helps patients breathe when they cannot do so on their own, and timely access to oxygen is critical to ensure the patient’s survival

“If anyone is breathless, go to any of these centres, and the doctors and nurses there will assist to stabilise you with oxygen before moving you with the ambulance to the isolation centre,” he said.

The commissioner said the state was committed to ensuring improved healthcare system toward enhancing quality healthcare and saving the lives of its citizens.

He, however, warned that the rate of COVID-19 infection positivity was increasing in the state due to festivities and disregard for safety measures.

”On December 26, the state confirmed 253 new COVID-19 infections, increasing the total confirmed cases of infections in the state to 28,774,” Abayomi said.

He said 75 confirmed cases were currently being managed at isolation centres, while 3,716 active cases were under home-based care under the state’s Eko Telemed.

Abayomi said one fatality had been recorded.

He said as COVID-19 continued, residents would need to make lifestyle adjustments to live with the pandemic.

“Living with the pandemic means you should wear your face mask everywhere, follow physical distancing rules, avoid social gatherings, ensure regular hand washing or hand sanitising. If you feel unwell, get tested; if positive, self-isolate or present to any isolation centre or follow up clinics,” he said.

He said the state would deploy effective messaging and education through its various platforms, while enforcing all guidelines through the respective state agencies.

Abayomi said the state was discovering more positive cases among international travellers coming into the country.

“Positivity for inbound travellers is on the rise; eight percent this week, four percent cumulative as Nigerians in the diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos.

Abayomi said the state’s goal from inception was to flatten the curve, and pledged to intensify its strategies of identifying, testing, isolating and management of cases to reduce the rate of transmission.

He said the state had increased its daily testing capacity and was between 2,000 and 3,000 samples daily.

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