The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed medical workers across the state to treat all patients with malaria symptoms as COVID-19 positive cases unless proven otherwise.
Sanwo-Olu added that any individual with COVID-like symptoms across Lagos to approach any of the public health facilities and laboratories for test to ascertain their status.
The governor, who disclosed these on Tuesday while addressing newsmen at the State House, Ikeja, explained that the move was to assist Lagos, considered as coronavirus epicenter in Nigeria, curb community transmission of the virus after over 9,213 were confirmed to be currently active across the state.
He added that the second COVID-19 wave has spread within the state more than expected and that the best strategy government could adopt was to reopen isolation centers after positive cases record increased from 3 percent on the 1st of December 2020 to 31 percent on the 31st of December 2020.
“In this second wave of the current pandemic, any malaria-like symptoms should be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until otherwise proven.
“Any affected individual with COVID-like symptoms should proceed to any of our public health facilities and laboratories to get tested for free”, he added.
Further justifying the decision, Sanwo-Olu disclosed: “Over the last few weeks, the demand for oxygen has risen from 70 6-litre cylinder per day to 350 6-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital.
” And this is projected to more than double to 750 6-litre cylinders, before the end of January 2021″, the governor added.
In preparation for this, he disclosed that five of the 10 oxygen plants have been commissioned with the others set to be commissioned next month
“It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of LGAs as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres, if required.
“This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy.
“As a result of the increasing demand for oxygen, the Lagos State Government also commissioned an Oxygen Plant at the Yaba Mainland Hospital to mitigate the projected need”.