The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it was concluding plans to inaugurate 10 Oxygen and Sampling centres as part of health emergency response to improve management of severe-to-critical COVID-19 cases.
It explained that the state would deploy oxygen therapy centres in high burden local government areas to manage severe-to-critical COVID-19 patients.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this during a media briefing on the update of the second wave of COVID-19 in Lagos on Monday, said that the move had become imperative to break chain of the projected second wave of the deadly respiratory disease.
According to him, the centres were sited at the Mother and Child Centre, Eti-Osa; General Hospital Alimosho; General Hospital Isolo; Aguda Primary Healthcare Centre, Surulere; and General Hospital Gbagada.
He listed others as, Mother and Child Centre, Ifako Ijaiye; Ibeju-Lekki Primary Healthcare Centre; General Hospital Apapa; Odi Olowu Primary Healthcare Centre, Mushin; and Amuwo-Odofin Mother and Child Centre.
Abayomi said that the oxygen centres at Mother and Child Centre, Eti-Osa; General Hospital Alimosho and General Hospital Isolo were already completed, while the remaining seven centres would be completed in the next two weeks.
He noted that medical oxygen is the primary treatment for the majority of patients who were suffering from severe COVID-19 symptoms.
”Many of these patients present late to the isolation centres, thus leading to fatalities. This life-saving gas helps patients breathe when they cannot do so on their own, and timely access to oxygen is critical to ensure the patient’s survival.
“If anyone is breathless, go to any of these centres, and the doctors and nurses there will assist to stabilise you with oxygen before moving you with the ambulance to the isolation centre,” he said.
The commissioner stressed that the state was committed to ensuring improved healthcare system toward enhancing quality healthcare and saving the lives of its citizens.
He, however, warned that the rate of COVID-19 infection positivity was increasing in the state due to the festivities and disregard for safety measures.
“On Dec. 26, the state confirmed 253 new COVID-19 infections, increasing the total confirmed cases of infections in the state to 28,774,” Abayomi said.
He added that 75 confirmed cases were currently being managed at the isolation centres while 3,716 active cases under home-based care were under the state’s EKO TELEMED. Abayomi also said that one fatality was recorded on the reported day.
He said that as the COVID-19 pandemic continued, residents would need to make lifestyle adjustments to live with the pandemic.
“Living with the pandemic means that you should wear your face mask everywhere, follow physical distancing rules, avoid social gatherings, ensure regular hand washing or hand sanitising.
“If you feel unwell, get tested; if positive, self-isolate or present to any isolation centre or follow up clinics,” the commissioner said.
He also said that the state would deploy effective messaging and education through its various platforms while enforcing all guidelines through the respective state agencies.
Abayomi noted that the state was discovering more positive cases among international travellers into the state.
“Positivity for inbound travellers is on the rise, eight per cent this week, four per cent cumulative as Nigerians in the Diaspora return to spend Christmas in Lagos.
“It has come to our attention that a number of the people are patronising individuals that sell fake COVID-19 results.
“We are currently putting in processes to identify both buyers and sellers and we will not hesitate to prosecute either to the full extent of the law,” he said.
Abayomi said that the state’s goal from inception was to flatten the curve, and would intensify its strategies of identifying, testing, isolating and management of cases to reduce the rate of transmission.
He said that the state had increased its daily testing capacity from August to December and that the state was now testing between 2,000 and 3,000 samples daily.