DANIELS G. O
Lagos State government has expanded its COVID19 response capacity with the accreditation of seven private laboratories to boost its testing capacity and three private hospitals for case management.
State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who disclosed this today at a press briefing to give an update on COVID19Lagos response noted that the State remains committed to bringing the outbreak under control, make economic activities continue as best as possible and improve strategies to keep the citizens safe in the face of the threats poses by the pandemic.
Abayomi explained that the State government commenced the accreditation and validation of private health facilities to assist in the fight against the virus because of the need to improve COVID19 response strategy, improve testing capacity and management of cases especially in the light of the evolving phase of the outbreak.
According to him, the names of the accredited laboratories are; Total Medical Services, Sylab, 54gene, Mebbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services and Clina Lancent Laboratory.
“We want to increase our testing capacity even more and one of the tenets of managing this outbreak is to test as many people as possible so that we can employ the principle of isolation. Right now, we are testing between 500 and 800 persons a day and in the next few weeks, we will have established a consortium of laboratories to carry out the test.
“These laboratories have all passed our validation, they have been accredited and we will be adding them to our testing consortium in addition to our already established public laboratories headed by the Lagos State biobank. We are just going through the logistics of having them in the consortium of laboratories and by next week, these laboratories are going to be testing on behalf of government to provide an expanded testing strategy, so that we can get a clearer understanding of the outbreak in Lagos”
We are convinced that they can test using the molecular biology test which we call the PCR test and they all passed 100 percent. As we proceed with the expanded testing strategy, we will be testing between 1000 and 2000 a day when this private laboratories come on stream which will be anytime from nextweek”, the Commissioner said.
Abayomi also noted that the State government has accredited three private hospitals for management of cases as part of the drive to explore public private partnership in COVID19 response stressing that more private health facilities are indicating interest to partner with the State government in the fight against the pandemic
Said he, “If we start to get a large numbers of people that are positive, we need another strategy for isolation, this is the reason why we are accrediting private hospitals who are prepared to join the COVID19 response. So far we have accredited three hospitals and we have got about five more in the pipeline who wants to admit COVID19 patients and manage COVID19 cases”.
“At the moment it is illegal to manage COVID19 cases outside of an accredited facility. As a public, we implore you not to go for test or treatment in a private facility that has not been accredited by government. It is dangerous to that, if you do, you might put yourself and your family members in danger and you might certainly put staff of that facility in danger if they are not practicing according to government laid down standards”.
The Commissioner listed the accredited hospitals to include: First Cardiology Hospital, Palone Memorial Hospital and Verdic Hospital.
Earlier in his COVID19 situation analysis presentation, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that 9,497 cases have been confirmed COVID-19 Positive in Lagos State out of which 5,064 have recovered in community.
“Of the above number of confirmed cases, 1,470 were admitted and discharged from the State’s COVID care centres, 447 patients are currently admitted in our various COVID care centres, majority of the balance 2,381 have not been picked up due to declined pickup and wrong information. Seven patients were either evacuated or transferred out of our COVID care centres while 128 patients representing 1.3 percent who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lagos State have died” he said
He noted that even though 42 percent of the confirmed COVID19 cases in Nigeria have been in Lagos State, the State accounts for only 23.6 percent of the recorded deaths due to COVID-19 in Nigeria stressing that this suggests competence in the management of confirmed cases in Lagos State
Ogboye stated that Lagos in the next few weeks will transits to home based care option for people who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic so as to cope with the number of positive cases in the state
“To cope with the numbers of positive cases we have incorporated what we call the home based care or the decentralization of isolation centers. In the community we will be looking for homes where people will be adequately isolated in their environment which does not pose danger to other members of the community”, He said.
Director, Public Affairs
26th June, 2020