By Temitope Akintoye,
The Lagos State Government has acknowledged the World Health Organisation (WHO) commendation over its preparation, reaction and subsequent control gained over the coronavirus pandemic, and expressed its elation that the efforts of its medical sector was appreciated by the global health agency.
It stated that said the recognition of Nigeria’s efforts by the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebereyesus, was proof that the country had got it right in its fight against the deadly coronavirus, and that it also gave confidence to do more and put more effort in combating such diseases in the future.
In his response, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso explained that such commendations went a long way in bolstering up confidence and giving medical personnel the morale to stay with the established preventive processes which had brought about the commendation.
Omotosho, who acknowledged and accepted the commendation through a statement issued on Tuesday, noted that the government decision to build the Biobanking and Biosecurity Laboratory at the Mainland Specialist Hospital, Yaba had been timely and that the whole country had benefitted from the availability of its facilities.
He revealed that the government had put plans in place once news of the disease outbreak was received and that it had done so because of the place Nigeria held as a world economice force, and also due to Lagos state being its economic and commercial capital, and that its plans had been able to succeed as result of availability of adequate medical facilities in the state.
The commissioner added that the Sanwo-Olu led administration had stationed over 60 health officials at the country’s major port of entry, Muritala Muhammed Airport, and that focus had been placed on prompt diagnosis and discovery of cases, in order to adequately curb spread and facilitate treatment of identified patients.
“When news of the Coronavirus broke, the State Government on February 3 set up an Incident Command Centre headed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Incident Commander and Health Commissioner, Akin Abayomi as the Deputy Incident Commander. They rallied experts to tackle the pandemic,”
“The foresight of the Lagos State government prepared us for the advent of Coronavirus in Nigeria and through the Grace of God, this administration has been able to leverage the experience of trained medical personnel in curtailing the spread of the infectious disease”.
According to Omotosho, the state government had not neglected the area of eductation but had embarked on several campaigns aimed at informing Lagosians on the need to embrace personal hygiene as means of coronavirus prevention, and raising consciousness on its symptoms, means of spread and other ways to efectively prevent infection.
He urged Lagosians not to relax but to keep maintaining proper hygiene, limit social engagements and large gatherings, and stay vigilant, adding that the threat of the global pandemic would be overcome if people came together and played their part in support of government.
Commending the medical team that has been attending to quarantined persons since the discovery of the index case, the commissioner reiterated that more work needed to be done to ensure that the country was coronavirus free, and that every patient is confirmed negative of the viral infection.