By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Federal Government has advanced reasons why other states of the federation must understudy Lagos State in its response to the deadly coronavirus cases in the country.
It explained that the state’s excellent approach in handling the index case and accompanied cases, and measures put in place in its public health response and protocols had set them apart, thus putting them at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic in the Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said with more than fifty percent of the total case in the country being handled in Lagos and the success rate recorded, other states developing their public health responses for the virus must understudy Lagos.
Ehanire, while briefing newsmen during the working visits to major isolation facilities in Lagos by members of the Presidential Taskforce for the Control of the Coronavirus led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Taskforce, Boss Mustapha, on Tuesday, said the excellent performance of the state in its battle against Ebola in 2014 had set the pace for the feat it is achieving in its fight against coronavirus.
“Other states are as prepared as can be but Lagos is, of course, the frontrunner. More than 50 percent of all the cases of coronavirus in the country are here in Lagos, and because of Lagos International airport, and the fact that most travelers coming into the country come in through Lagos.
“Lagos state has the additional advantage that they did very well in 2014 when they were handling the Ebola case, so there is a lot of institutional memories which is left over, which is helping a lot and I have told the Commissioner that as other states begin to develop their public health response and protocols, they will come here and do some studies, maybe one or two weeks of hand-on to learn the tricks that Lagos has.
“Lagos is very well prepared and other states are trying, and there are only few cases outside, so there is no comparison with what is here in Lagos,” the Minister said.
On his part, Mustapha said who hailed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team for their resoluteness in driving the efforts towards flattening the curve of COVID-19 outbreak in the nation, said their handling of the outbreak had raised the hope for other states in winning the fight against the ravaging pandemic.
He said: “So far, Lagos State has been doing a great job. From what we observed during the inspection of various isolation centres, the State has put up world-class facilities in the management of those that are infected with COVID-19. We are satisfied with the kind of care and personnel deployed; it shows that we are on course in winning the battle.
“One thing Nigerians must know is that, we are very clear in the national strategy we have deployed against the coronavirus in terms of containment. Also, to try as much as possible to reduce the spread and speed up tracking of those that have been in contact with cases, so that we will be able to minimise the incident of community transmission. We are doing very well in implementation of the strategy.”
Mustapha urged Lagosians to be patient while the State remained under lockdown, urging them to support the combined effort of the State and the Federal Government towards breaking the cycle of the transmission of the virus.
The SGF said the success of the Federal Government in fully curtailing the ravaging pandemic was hinged on the capability of the Lagos Government in its response to stop the spread of the pandemic in the State.
“We cannot afford to leave Lagos to deal with the current situation alone. If we can get it right in Lagos, I believe we can stop the virus in other parts of the federation,” Mustapha said.