COVID-19: Over 4,000 Lagosians undergoing home treatment amid deadly second wave

At least 4,176 persons infected with coronavirus in Lagos State are currently undergoing home-based treatment in the wake of the second wave infections across Nigeria, and the world at large.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, disclosed the figures on Friday via his Twitter handle, @ProfAkinAbayomi, noting that 115 cases were in isolation.

Abayomi wrote, “Total number of #COVID19 recovery in communities – 22,789; cases currently under isolation – 115; active cases under home-based care – 4,176; new #COVID19 related death – 3; total deaths – 240.”

He put the number of COVID-19 cases discharged from Lagos care centres at 2,901 while three new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded, bringing the total COVID-19 induced fatalities in the state to 240.

The commissioner also identified five top high burden local government areas in the state with COVID-19 cases as Eti-Osa, Ajeromi, Surulere, Amuwo-Odofin and Mushin.

He appealed to people to stay safe, avoid crowded places and celebrate responsibly, warning that those who have no reason to move around should stay at home.

In his earlier tweet on December 30, 2020, Abayomi said COVID-19 infections in Lagos were 30,221.

We’re not responsible for low testing, five states tell FG

Meanwhile, some state governments have shot back at the Federal Government, saying they are not responsible for low COVID-19 testing in their states.

The states are Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Zamfara, and Osun.

Some of the state governments outright debunked that they were not conducting enough tests, while others like Anambra blamed the low testing on religious leaders who make their followers believe that the coronavirus was a farce.

The Federal Government had on Tuesday complained that despite the resources available to states, the test they were conducting was still low.

The NCDC, in its statistics released last Sunday, listed eight states and the Federal Capital Territory with the high number of tests.

They are the Federal Capital Territory with 119,843 tests; Rivers, 84,553; Kano, 61,768; Ogun, 44,398; Plateau, 43,063; Kaduna, 39,642; Oyo, 30,579; Gombe, 28,806; and Delta, 23,116.

The states with low tests conducted, according to the NCDC, are Kogi, 451; Zamfara, 1,211; Cross River, 2,166; Kebbi, 2,766; Jigawa, 3,273; Anambra, 3,395; Akwa Ibom, 4,143; Adamawa, 4,649; Yobe, 4,277; and Osun, 6,379.

Abayomi had on Monday said the state had conducted 236,212 tests, the highest in the country.

On Thursday, fresh 1,031 COVID-19 cases were recorded by the NCDC, shooting the number of cases in the country to 87,510.

Amidst the growing concerns over the second wave of the pandemic and low testing, some state governments, in separate interviews with our correspondents, have explained why they are not responsible for the situation.

For instance, the Cross River State Government said the state’s reference laboratory which was vandalised and looted during the #EndSARS protest in October 2020 had yet to be rehabilitated.

The state, therefore, called on the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to rehabilitate the lab.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, told Saturday PUNCH that the reference lab had yet to be rebuilt months after it was vandalised, adding that the state government had taken steps to notify the NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, and the PTF about the urgency of the matter but to no avail.

She said, “The reference lab was vandalised and looted during the #EndSARS protest in October. I have gone to Abuja to meet with the NCDC boss. We have written and sent applications to the chairman of PTF (Boss Mustapha).

“The governor has even discussed it with senior authorities and we have yet to get an urgent response from the government which should be interested in testing at this point, knowing that we are coming into the second wave of COVID-19, which might be stronger than the first wave.

“The PTF, at this point, should be interested in ensuring that every single public lab in Nigeria is up-and-running at maximum speed. If possible, expand the lab so that they can test more people. But this is three months going (sic). Every other day, I send emails to Chikwe and we have been trying to reach out to them so that they can get our lab back so that we can continue massive screening and testing.”

Edu further said only the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital had been carrying out tests in the last two months for severe cases brought to its isolation centre, as against the idea of community testing and collection of samples, due to the condition of the state reference lab.

She said, “This is what the PTF should place as a priority at this point in time. They (testing centres) are things that should take two or three weeks to set up. This is a matter of national emergency that should be addressed almost immediately. But it is taking so long for them to do it.

“So, for me, really, they (PTF) should pay less attention to numbers and more attention to getting the job done. They should fix the lab and let there be massive testing across the country.”

Giving its reasons for low testing in Anambra State, the government blamed some clerics, doctors and some Indigenous People of Biafra.

The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, said IPOB and the clerics had told the people that COVID-19 was a hoax.

Adinuba also attributed the low testing to the activities of some medical doctors in the state who he said treated some patients in their private hospitals, thereby reducing the number of tests being carried out at government facilities.

Stating that there was no Federal Government-owned COVID-19 laboratory in the state, Adinuba said the state had three testing centres.

He said the state had about 500-capacity isolation facilities across the state, adding, that the state government had adopted home treatment for COVID-19 patients for convenience.

He said as of press time, no COVID-19 patient was in any isolation centre in the state.


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