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Sanwo-Olu engages tailors, others on face mask production amid lockdown extension

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

In order to gain control over coronavirus in Lagos State, the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed tailors and seamstresses to immediately commence mass production of face mask with locally sourced materials and in adherence standard design for the state.

Sanwo-Olu has also approved that sampling stations set up in the 20 local government in the state commence operation to give residents that fit the case definition of COVID-19 opportunity to drop samples for tests.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who stated this on Sunday during a Press Briefing scheduled to give update on coronavirus in Lagos, noted that these strategies were geared towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 in the state.

Abayomi disclosed that wearing face masks does not protect against COVID-19 Infection but rather protects people around an infected person from contracting the virus from the increased amount of aerosol generated from coughing or sneezing.
“There is some theoretical evidence that the wearing of masks may indeed reduce the number of droplets in the environment from the person that is infected with COVID19 and that is the reason why we are beginning to define the strategy of face masks for the general community”, he added.
Abayomi disclosed that the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has already given instructions that tailors and seamstresses should be commissioned to commence mass production of locally made face masks from a standard design that has been given to them.
He stated that the wearing of the homemade mask is just to reduce the number of droplets that maybe produce and aerosolized by the process of coughing and sneezing.
“Tailors and seamstresses are empowered to produce and provide standard homemade face mask that the public can gain access to and wear without pulling on the limited stocks of professional face masks that health professional require such that in a couple of weeks, we will be able to mass-produce locally made face masks, not medical mask”.
He noted that the State is not encouraging the public to go and purchase medical mask because it would deprive the medical community of the medical mask that they require for their professional activity.

On the centers, the commissioner stressed that it was established to bringing COVID-19 testing opportunities closer to the people in the state.

He added that the idea is also aimed at taking work strain off health workers that visit several local governments for case search and sample collection.
Abayomi stressed that the new arrangement would provide an opportunity for people at the local government with symptoms of COVID19 to present themselves early for testing.
“We have decentralized the locations where you can have yourself submitted for sampling. So what we’ve done is to move sampling stations to the local government. And if you feel that you have any of the symptoms associated with COVID19, you can present yourself to this decentralized sampling stations”.
“They are not testing stations, they are sampling stations and If you meet the criteria for testing, you will be able to receive the counsel of the staff and your sample will be taken”.
“We are not just testing anybody, there is a criteria for testing; you either must have COVID19 symptoms to meet the case definition or be in close contact with somebody that have been confirmed with COVID19. Your samples would be taken and it would then be sent to one of our accredited testing facilities and those facilities will then perform the tests”, the Commissioner explained.
He added that the strategy would help the COVID19 response team get a better idea of what is going in the community and also make the diagnosis of COVID19 early at the local government level.

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