The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Enahire has commended the Lagos State Government for its cutting edge preparedness against the outbreak of infectious diseases, especially the Novel Coronavirus which is fast spreading across the world.
Dr. Osagie, who gave the commendation during his tour of facilities at Lagos State Infectious Disease Hospital, expressed satisfaction at the level of infrastructure put in place by the State Government to effectively contain any unexpected case of infectious diseases.
He averred that the experience of Ebola in 2014 has assisted the State government in putting mechanisms in place to strengthen the level of preparedness for any unforeseen case of threatening infectious disease.
“It is quite clear that Lagos has a clear-cut edge in managing infectious diseases and preparedness. I am extremely happy that Lagos is equipped in the area of knowledge built from the foundation it obtained from the 2014 Ebola outbreak which the State managed properly”, the Minister said.
Osagie, who also inspected Lagos State Bio-bank, the highest Bio-safety level 3 laboratory in West Africa located inside the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, commended the State government for deploying additional 30 health personnel to assist with surveillance at the entry ports.
“I am highly impressed, happy and proud to see this level of preparedness. I have not just learnt something, I am impressed that the State has taken science to a very modern and admirable level. This is obviously a place a lot of lessons will be learnt”, he said.
Dr. Osagie stressed further that the Federal and State Governments have a lot of reasons to collaborate, especially in areas of experiences gathered over the years in combating infectious diseases.
In his words “I am confident that Lagos is ready, they have the highest volume of air travels, so the preparedness here is more important than anywhere else”.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi explained that the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Health, has been working very hard to prevent an import of Coronavirus into the State and is presently ramping up its preparedness for containment of the disease should there be an outbreak.
“Since the experience we had with Ebola, we have been building capacity, infrastructure, revising our policies and laws, training staff that are specially equipped to deal with an outbreak of infectious diseases like Ebola, Monkeypox, Lassa Fever and Coronavirus if it comes here. So we are ready in Lagos, we have the facility, trained staff, and a robust surveillance system in place to contain and effectively manage an outbreak”, Abayomi said.
The Commissioner noted that the State government is supporting the Federal Government with staff at the airport just to make sure that anybody coming into Lagos goes through a thorough screening process, adding that officials of the State Ministry of Health will monitor persons who recently returned from countries that have person-to-person transmission of coronavirus for 14 days in their homes.
“So we are making it very tight and we hope that with the policies and measures put in place, we will not see a serious situation happening in Lagos but should that happen, our containment facilities at the Mainland hospital are being rapidly upscaled to effectively manage and contain any unexpected incidents”, the Commissioner stated.
While responding to news making the rounds about a suspected case of coronavirus in Alimosho Local Government Area, Abayomi dismissed the news as fake, saying that “We heard the same rumour and we deployed our biosecurity team there yesterday. They have gathered a lot of medical and community intelligence and so far and it appears to us that there is no such thing and that this was fake news”.
Abayomi noted that novel Coronavirus is not a case of racial illness and that the disease can affect anybody, explaining that it is neither a Chinese disease nor an African disease,
He emphasised that the disease is dangerous and causes harm, warning that perpetrators of fake news about the Coronavirues will face the law if identified and apprehended.