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HEALTH

ALERT: Is Corona Virus in Lagos?

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The Lagos State Government has alerted the public to a new virus, the novel Coronavirus (nCoV) which is currently raging in China and have been reported some countries of the world including United States of America and have caused no fewer than nine deaths.

The State Government through a press statement issued by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Abayomi explained that the novel Coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans adding that Coronaviruses are primarily infections of animals that can be transmitted to humans.

“On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO), China Country Office was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause, detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. A novel Coronavirus was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on the 7th January”

“As of 22nd January 2020, a total of 471 cases have been confirmed in South East Asia and USA with 9 deaths. There is evidence now that the infection is able to spread from person to person”, the Commissioner said.

He disclosed that the common signs and symptoms of the infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing adding that in more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

While noting that no cases of the virus have been identified in Lagos, Nigeria or anywhere in Africa, the Commissioner stated that the State Lagos is ramping up its level of preparedness considering the large commercial trading traffic between Nigeria and China and Thailand.

“The Lagos State Biosecurity team in collaboration with Lagos University Teaching Hospital is currently working on building urgent capacity to identify the virus in our Biosecurity facility and isolation wards located at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba in the event of any suspected case arriving in Lagos State”

“We are in touch with Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja to align our strategies. Importantly we are also collaborating with the Federal Ports Authority at air, land and sea border posts to elevate screening and surveillance of incoming travelers”, he said

Abayomi urged citizens to adopt and practice high standard of personal and environmental hygiene including regular hand washing, covering of mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing and practice good biosecurity precautions with domestic and wild animals as measures against the transmission of any kind contagious infection, nCoV inclusive.

The Commissioner advised citizens travelling from South East Asia or any country where the infection have been reported or who have had contact with travelers from that region and experiencing above outlined symptoms associated with the disease to go to the nearest health facility for immediate assessment and treatment or call 08023169485, 08033565529 or 08052817243 for assistance.

“The Lagos State Government is committed to the health and safety of her citizen and so, there is no cause for panic or alarm. This alert is just to assure you that we are preparing for any eventuality as directed by Mr. Governor”, Abayomi said.

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HEALTH

181 teachers, students contract Covid-19 in Lagos School

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A school in Lekki has recorded 181 cases of Covid-19 among its students and teachers.

This was declared by the Lagos state commissioner for health, Prof Akin Abayomi, via a statement signed by Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, Director, Public Affairs at the ministry.

Giving details of the investigation, Abayomi explained that a 14-year-old SS1 female student fell ill on the 3rd of October and was sent home after receiving first aid at the school. He added that the student subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday 6th of October in one of the accredited private labs in Lagos.

The Commissioner assured Lagosians that the State government, through the incident commands system, has the situation under control, stressing that appropriate steps have been taken to contain the spread and manage the positive cases. He noted that all parents have been contacted and counselled via a family zoom call on 13th October to further allay their fears and communication between school authorities and parents continues. The zoom call was attended by the commissioners for Health and Education and all relevant responders and stakeholders.

“There is a total lockdown and movement restriction in the school with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Pillar of the EOC and Ibeju-Lekki LGA State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO) reporting at the school daily to conduct further investigation while positive students and staff have been isolated on the premises and given the COVID-19 home-care treatment packs and are being monitored in isolation within the school premises,” Abayomi said.

The Commissioner stated that the school authorities supported by the State Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are following the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the government. According to him, “students are to be isolated in the School premises and if unwell will be admitted in one of the accredited isolation centers in Lagos. Students are discouraged from going home to avoid infecting members of their families”.

The Ministry of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Education to jointly manage this minor but significant outbreak in this boarding school. “I am pleased to announce that all the infected students are predominantly asymptomatic while some have very mild symptoms, no student has required hospitalization,” he said.

“Members of the Emergency Operation Center and our counterparts in the Ministry of Education have been deployed to the school to provide strategic interventions and support to the school. This includes psychosocial support, infection prevention control, medical monitoring and risk communication experts to further enlighten and educate affected people,” Abayomi noted.

The Commissioner reemphasized the need for citizens to practise the highest standard of personal and environmental hygiene , stressing that use of face mask in public places, proper hand washing and hand hygiene practice and maintaining physical distance will help prevent the spread of the infection.

“COVID-19 is still very much with us and we must strive to prioritize the safety of all, including students and teachers, by adhering strictly to prevention protocols and guidelines issued by government to prevent its spread,” Abayomi said.

He urged Lagosians to call the 08000EKOMED or 08000356633 toll-free line if they notice any sign or symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue or loss of taste or smell.

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HEALTH

BREAKING: Churches, Mosques to re-open August 7

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The Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed that religious centres can re-open for service from August 7, 2020.

The Governor also increases public gatherings capacity from 20 to 50 people.

We will bring you details later

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EDUCATION

Lagos fumigates schools ahead resumption

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Preparatory to the planned resumption of terminal class students, the Lagos State Government has intensified the periodic fumigation/decontamination of all public secondary schools.
A press release by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mrs. Aderonke Odeneye on Saturday stated that majority of the public secondary schools in the six educational districts have been reached.
While adding that the exercise was part of the resumption protocol/guidelines for the secondary schools in the State, Odeneye emphasised that Lagos has continued to adopt measures to ensure that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is effectively contained.
She said, “The fumigation exercise which is on-going preparatory to resumption next week for terminal classes will continue after the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) Exams. The periodic exercise which commenced in late June has been effected in all the Model Colleges across the six educational districts in the State”.

According to her, the schedule of the fumigation exercise listed Oduduwa Junior Secondary School, Mushin; New Era Girls Secondary School, Surulere and Oriwu Junior and Senior Model College, Ikorodu among schools that have already been fumigated.
Others included the Lagos State Civil Service Senior Model College, Igbogbo; Igbo-Owu Junior and Senior Secondary School, Mushin and Junior Model College, Igbogbo amongst several others.
The Permanent Secretary urged the schools’ management to make provision for water in the premises with a view to promoting the washing of hands among the students, stressing that pupils must avoid all sporting activities till further notice.
Odeneye also implored them to provide hand sanitisers in all classrooms and hostels as well as ensure that students are tutored on the need to constantly sanitise their hands after every educational activity in the classrooms and wear nose masks always.
“Schools are to enforce physical distancing where applicable and also provide facilities to reduce the risk of the infection amongst teachers and students. Disinfection of shoes and feet should be strongly encouraged frequently for each student to reduce bacterial infection that could lead to any ailment during their stay in the school”, she advised.

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