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LASSA fever hits Lagos as govt calls for calm

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Lagos has recorded it’s 2020 index case of the Lassa Hemorrhagic fever which has been reported to be raging in over 19 States in the country.

Commissioner for Health Prof, Akin Abayomi who disclosed this today confirmed that the patient is currently in isolation at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

Abayomi while noting that the situation is under control called on residents to be calm and not panic, assuring that State government in active collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is doing everything possible to control the spread of the disease in Lagos State.

“The Ministry of Health through Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health Directorate is currently carrying out ‘contact tracing’ to determine those who may have been infected in line with international standards while we beef up our other surveillance strategies “, he said.

Abayomi reiterated the need for members of the public to ensure and maintain adequate personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at all times as part of prevention and control measures against the spread of the disease in the State

He averred that that the prevention and control of the disease remains a shared responsibility of all citizens through observance of the highest possible standards of personal and community hygiene as well as environmental sanitation.

The urged residents to store house-hold refuse in sanitary refuse bags or dust bins with tight-fitting covers to avoid infestation by rats and rodents; dispose refuse properly at designated dump sites and not into the drainage system and store food items in rodent-proof containers. He added that it is by so doing that a habitable and conducive environment, and a disease-free State can be achieved.

“Members of the public are further advised to avoid contact with rats, to always cover their food and water properly, cook all their food thoroughly, as well as block all holes in the septic tanks and holes through which rats can enter the house and clear rat hideouts within the premises”, he said.

While outlining strategies put in place by the State government to control the disease, the Commissioner explained that the Lagos State is maintaining relevant surveillance activities through its disease surveillance officers at local government level to prevent the spread of the disease in Lagos.  

“Isolation wards have been prepared to manage suspected and confirmed cases,drugs and other materials have also been prepositioned at designated facilities while health workers have been placed on red alert and community sensitization activities intensified”, Abayomi noted. 

The Commissioner advised health workers, both in the public and private hospitals in the State to ensure that they observe universal safety precautions and comply with infection prevention and control measures when dealing with patients, stressing that appropriate personal protective equipment like hand gloves, facemasks, goggles and overalls must be worn when attending to cases.

“Hands must be washed often with soap and running water or application of hand sanitizers after each contact with patients or contaminated materials and instruments must be autoclaved. Also hospital mattresses must be covered with plastic sheets to prevent contamination”, Abayomi added.

He stated that a case of Lassa Fever should be suspected in any person with persistent high fever not responding to standard treatment for malaria and typhoid fever or bleeding from body surface.

The Commissioner urged health workers as well as citizens to report suspected case or cases of the disease to the nearest government approved health facility, the Ministry of Health or call the emergency operation centre lines – 08023169485, 08033565529 and 08052817243.

“I would like to reassure Lagosians that our vigilance levels are very high and we are putting more measures in place to safe guard the State”, Abayomi noted.

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HEALTH

Lagos anticipates 120,000 cases of covid-19 by August

As 2,683 patients go into hiding

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More than 2,000 people who have been infected by Covid-19 in Lagos have refused to turn up for treatment. That is according to the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who said the affected people disappeared into thin air after their coronavirus test turned out positive.

 

He said the patients went into hiding either because they were ignorant or afraid of being stigmatized by the society, adding that the patients could however decide to be treated at home under the supervision of the state ministry of health.

 

Speaking earlier at a Covid-19 briefing in Alausa, Prof Abayomi disclosed that the Lagos state government currently has over 500 patients in the state’s isolation centres spread across the state.

 

“They have been informed of their status and they have decided that they won’t wish to be admitted. So, they have made it difficult for us to find them, the evacuation team has been trying to call them, once they know our phone number, they stopped picking our calls. When we go to their homes to collect them, they are not there.

 

“If we are diagnosing 250 every day, we need to move to several locations in one day. If a person doesn’t wish to be admitted, it is very difficult to enforce it. However, what we have observed is that when you know your status and you start to feel unwell, people voluntarily walk into the isolation centres and present themselves with their COVID-19 test result so that they will be admitted,” Abayomi said.

 

The commissioner however warned that by August if this trend continues, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos State might hit between 90,000 and 120,000.

 

“I did say about six weeks ago that we might see between 90,000 and 120,000 cases of COVID-19 in Lagos State by August. What we think is that for every one person that is diagnosed with the virus, there are probably 10 more in the community that we have not diagnosed,” he said.

 

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HEALTH

COVID-19: FG lifts ban on inter-state movements

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Millions of Nigeria can now heave a sigh of relief as the FEderal Government finally lifts ban on inter-state movements occassioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha made the announcement this afternoon during the daily briefing of the presidential task force on Covid-19.

According to him, the lifting of the interstate movement will take effect from 1st July, 2020 while the curfew remains in place.

Mustapha also said students in primary six, Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 will be allowed to return to school.

Hear him: “​I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the Phase Two of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020 through Midnight of Monday, 27 July, 2020,” he said.

​”Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect:

“Maintaining the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatiated by the National Coordinator;

“Permission of movement across State borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July, 2020;

“Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places;

“Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations.”

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HEALTH

COVID-19: This N200 drug could save patients from dying

New drug raises hope for Covid-19 cure

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Researchers at Oxford University have declared that they found a drug that can save a third of Covid-19 patients worldover.

They unveiled a drug called Dexamethasone becoming the first medicine that had proved to reduce the death rate among hospitalised patients of the deadly Covid-19 caused by coronavirus.

Professor Peter Horby who led a trial of the drug in Britain said treating eight people with the drug could save one life at the rate of £40 which is between N200 and N400 in Naira equivalence.

The drug could save up to 35 per cent of patients relying on ventilators for critically ill persons and reduce the odds of death by a fifth for all patients in need of oxygen at any point in time.

Dexamethasone, first created in the 1950s, is usually used to treat ulcerative colitis, arthritis and some types of cancer. It is already licensed and proven to be safe, can be used for patients immediately and is a generic drug, meaning it can be manufactured cheaply and massively.

Results of the Recovery trial, which involved 6,000 COVID-19 patients and led by Oxford University scientists, suggested that the steroid could prevent death in one in eight ventilated coronavirus patients and one in 25 on breathing support.

It is the first trial to show a treatment provides a significant impact in reducing the risk of death.

Britain is the first country to approve dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment, as the Department of Health said although clinical trials of the drug were ongoing in other countries including France, Iran, Spain and Argentina. If other countries approve it, they would make their own supplies.

Lead researcher, Professor Martin Landray, said dexamethasone could have saved about 5,000 lives if it were used throughout the UK’s crisis, saying, “If you were to design a drug that treats coronavirus, this would be exactly how you’d hope it works.”

He explained that the steroid prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation, a Covid-19 complication that inhibits breathing. In seriously unwell patients, the lungs become inflamed so much that they struggle to work.

The recovery trial has recruited over 11,500 Covid-19 patients from 170 NHS hospitals across the country and is the world’s biggest trial testing existing drugs.

Also, about 2,104 patients were randomised to receive 6mg of dexamethasone once a day, either by mouth or by intravenous injection for 10 days, just as their outcomes were compared with 4,321 patients given standard care, which involved painkillers and in some cases, antibiotics.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has applauded the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom (UK) that show that dexamethasone can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General while reacting to the development said: “This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support. This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough.”

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