Lagos COVID-19 Cases May be 10 Times Higher, Says Health Commissioner

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Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi

*Says govt spends N100,000 per patient with mild symptoms, N1m on each patient with severe symptoms daily

By Martins Ifijeh

The Lagos State Government has stated that at least 130,000 residents may have already been infected with COVID-19 in the state.

It also said for every COVID-19 patient in its isolation centres, the government spends about N100,000 for those with mild symptoms, while those with severe cases may gulp between N500,000 to N1 million every day.

Stating these during a press briefing Thursday, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said for every one person that tests positive for COVID-19, there are potentially 10 other persons out there who are positive, but do not know.

He said: “Lagos presently has 13,543 confirmed cases of COVID-19. If you times that by 10, it gives you over 130,000 cases. This is the more reason everyone needs to follow all health protocols because the threat is still very much out there.

“The number of cases from the community total 9,066, but active community cases amount to 2,036, with 192 deaths in the state.”

He said by COVID-19 modelling, the number of cases in the state would reach its peak by August, and then after, it would flatten, adding that the prediction was only a modelling which could either come out accurately or otherwise.

He also explained that the state had improved its testing strategy by increasing private laboratories to seven, noting that Lagos presently does 1,000 tests per day. “In two weeks, this capacity will increase, he added.

Abayomi said: “The state is doing all it can to tackle the pandemic. For every patient with mild symptoms in our isolation centres, about N100,000 is expended every day by the government. For those with severe or critical cases, around N500,000 and N1 million is spent every day per patient.

“In few weeks we will launch our home care service, and then provide home care packs to patients who are receiving treatments in their homes. each pack will contain drugs and other things needed for their treatments.

“Out of those diagnosed everyday, only a few are willing to be admitted. We don’t have problem convincing those severely sick to come to our isolation centres. We reach those at home through telemedicine, phone calls and the likes. However, when symptoms of those at home are deteriorating, we usually recommend that they access any of our isolation centres.”

He warned Lagos residents not to patronise COVID-19 laboratories not approved by the state government, adding that their results may not be guaranteed.

“Any laboratory not accredited should not do test. The COVID-19 test is very complicated and performed by experts with complicated machines. Only government approved laboratories should be involved in testing,” he added.