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Sanwo-Olu approves N200m for COVID-19 treatment, extends work from home protocols

By Idowu Abdullahi,

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that he has approved additional N200 million to support the ongoing coronavirus patient management and treatment efforts at the two Federal Government treatment centers in the state.

This is coming as the governor also extended the work from home directive to all state public servants on Grade Levels 14 and below from Monday, 1st February to Friday, 26th February, 2021.

Sanwo-Olu said that the decision to approve the amount and work from home protocols extension had been reached after the noticeable rising cases of coronavirus across the the state occasioned by citizens non adherence to laid down guidelines

According to him, the approvals followed rising profile of the coronavirus disease due to the mutating variants now being discovered globally and to shore up our containment and management capacity.

He noted that while the Lagos state’s University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) would be receiving the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira, the Federal Medical Center, Ebute Metta would be receiving Fifty Million Naira, adding that the money would be disbursed on Monday, February 1.

On the extended working protocols, Sanwo-Olu through a statement signed by the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said that the increase positive cases among civil servants necessitated the extension.

The governor said that directive was also in line with the Presidential Order on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations which states inter-alia that: “At all gatherings, a physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons” and that “no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space”

While advising staff to stay safe by observing all COVID-19 protocols such as the use of face masks, physical distancing and regular washing of hands with soap and water as well as the use of hand sanitisers, the governor reiterated that the directive excludes Essential Duty Staff, First Responders, as well as Officers saddled with assignments in the weekly Duty Rosters of their respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Giving breakdown of his administration’s measures in containing the virus during his COVID-19 update on Sunday, Sanwo-Olu said that oxygen had been made free at all Lagos State-owned Covid-19 Treatment Centers, adding that the government does not charge for the use of oxygen in its centers.

“Considering that oxygen demand has spiked to between 300 and 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, the Government is working hard to ensure that availability and supply are very easily able to meet and even surpass this demand. To this end, a second oxygen plant is under construction at the Gbagada General Hospital, and will come on-stream within the next seven days. It is expected that this will boost the in-house capacity and availability of oxygen across all State Government managed
treatment centres,” he said.

He added that the test positivity ratio for January 2021 was 24%, which means that one out of every four tests returns positive and that the figure remains the highest monthly average recorded in the last six months.

“It should be stressed that testing is free at all Lagos State public health laboratories, for all persons who fall within the case definition—that is, have symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, inability to smell or taste, headaches or general body weakness—or those who have come into close contact with anyone with any of these symptoms.

“Testing at our public health facilities will continue to remain free but cannot be used for travel purposes. Anyone wishing to test as a requirement for either outbound or inbound travel or other work-related requirements must do so at any of the 21 private laboratories accredited by Lagos State for COVID testing, he added.

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