•Cases hit 23,298, with 8,253 discharged and 554 death
•In bid to ramp up testing, Lagos accredits 7 private labs
By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba and Bennett Oghifo
Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, his wife, children and other members of the household, yesterday, went into self-isolation, because one of the governor’s daughters had tested positive for the COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the 684 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Nigeria yesterday have taken the tally to 23,298, with 8,253 discharged and 554 deaths.
On the same day, the Lagos State Government authorised seven private laboratories as COVID-19 testing centres.
THISDAY gathered that Governor Okowa personally broke the news via his Twitter handle yesterday morning.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chiedu Ebie and the Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu had tested positive to COVID-19 and are now at a management centre.
This is also coming at a time the government said it had intensified efforts at containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the state with increased community testing capacity, as well as an increase in the number of isolation and management centres across the state.
A statement, yesterday, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika said, “The governor and his family members will immediately commence self-isolation for 14 days.”
The statement further said, “It is again pertinent to stress that COVID-19 is real, and citizens are advised to be disciplined and comply with the protocols of wearing facemasks and maintaining physical distancing while in public places, as well as basic hygiene of hand-washing with soap and running water and use of alcohol-based sanitisers as NCDC regulation demands.”
In Bid to Ramp up Testing, Lagos Accredits 7 Private Labs
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has authorised seven private laboratories as Covid-19 testing centres.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi Abayomi, who spoke at a briefing in Lagos yesterday, said the decision was taken to ramp up Covid-19 testing in the state.
He noted that seven local government areas – Eti-Osa, Alimosho, Kosofe, Ikeja, Oshodi, Surulere and Lagos Mainland – have the highest number of infections in the state.
The commissioner said, “As Lagos continuously attempts to open up various aspects of its economy, it is imperative that COVID-19 tests are widely available to members of the public. “In a bid to ramp up its testing capacity, Lagos State Government has taken a strategic decision to include private laboratories in the testing of COVID-19.”
“The testing facilities as we’ve established at the moment, are the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, the Lagos State Biobank, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, and the Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba.
“We’ve also included some private facilities. They are Total Medical Services, SynLab, 54 Gene, Medbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, O2 Medical Services, and Clina Lancert Laboratories. They’ve all passed their validations, they have been accredited.
“We are in the middle of the outbreak and, therefore, we still expect to see a lot more cases in the next few months.”
Abayomi advised Lagosians to observe all preventive protocols, including the use of face masks, social distancing and regular washing of hands.