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HEALTH

13 Lagos medical workers exposed to dead COVID-19 patient —Commissioner

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by: Samson Folarin

No fewer than 13 medical workers at the Randle General Hospital, Surulere, may have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient who died at the medical facility.

The PUNCH learnt on Sunday that the workers, including doctors, would be tested for the virus by a team from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday.

Our correspondent had exclusively reported that a 65-year-old woman, identified as Iyabo, was admitted to the hospital last Sunday after she complained of difficulty in breathing.

The petty trader, who also had diabetes, was said to have been treated before some doctors insisted that she should be tested for the coronavirus.

She was later taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, where she was rejected after medical personnel there allegedly claimed that she did not fit a COVID-19 case.

The woman, who was also hypertensive, was returned to Randle where she died.

Apprehensive workers at the hospital were informed on Friday that the result of the NCDC test confirmed that she was positive.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Aduke Odutayo, who confirmed the case to our correspondent, said the NCDC was on top of the situation.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, who also confirmed the report, said there was no cause for alarm.

He said, “The MD informed the permanent secretary about the case. The MD said there were two doctors who attended to the woman at the emergency section and the two doctors were isolated.

“However, after identifying the two doctors, about 12 to 13 others stepped forward and said they also attended to her.

“Because she could not isolate all of them at the same time, she asked that they be tested. The permanent secretary has said he would ensure they are tested on Monday and afterward, they will be isolated. So, there is nothing to panic about.”

Asked if the hospital would be shut to the public due to the situation, Omotosho said the permanent secretary had ruled out the option.

“He said there would be no need to shut down a facility because of that, and they would only disinfect it and there is a process for that,” he added.

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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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