Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday inaugurated Armoured Shield Isolation Centre in Victoria Island, even as the government has intensified its public advocacy and sensitisation on the emergence of a second wave of COVID-19.
The isolation centre is a purpose-built medical facility equipped with ICU capacities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The isolation centre was established by Armoured Shield Medical Centre to provide an emergency isolation centre to respond to the potential risk of local transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the official commissioning of the Armoured Shield Isolation Centre in Victoria Island yesterday, Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians that his administration would not backtrack on public health deliverables.
He said COVID-19 was still a public health issue, therefore the government would continue to lead from the front.
Governor Sanwo-Olu while stressing the need for collaborative efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, advised the public to keep to all the protocols by wearing their facemask, washing of hands regularly, maintaining social distancing and staying away from huge crowd.
The governor, while commending the visionary thoughts of the Reddington Group for putting up the Armoured Shield Isolation Centre, said the good gesture is a plus for public and private sector collaboration.
He said: “This isolation centre is important for us as a government because it is a clear demonstration of power of collaboration between the public and private sector and ensuring that we cannot do it all by ourselves. And when public issues arose and private sector raises up to such occasion, the least we can do is to encourage them.
“We are going through the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and we cannot stop the advocacy. We cannot stop talking about it. Some people thought coronavirus is for some set or type of people; it knows no race, no religion, no economic status.
“Over the last 10 months, we have seen many cases of coronavirus. We came out of the first wave and we really did not shot down but we were anticipating that there would be a second wave. But we really did not know that even the second wave would be stronger than the first wave.”
Speaking on his administration commitment to addressing COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos State, Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “For us as a government we have continued to heighten and raise the level of our preparedness. Over the last four, five months, we have been building oxygen centres; we have about 10 of them at our secondary facilities and we have commissioned about five of them now.
Because we have taken time to understand the movement of the virus, we know that it affects more people around the respiratory issue and when it affects respiratory organs, you need a lot more oxygen than ordinarily than you have. And so, in anticipation, we have provided that and we are still scaling up that provision.
In his address, the Chairman of Reddington Hospital Group, Dr. Yomi Onabowale, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for battling the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to commend Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Incident Commander for Lagos State. He has done extremely well in leadership, especially in Lagos State in battling the first pandemic and in ensuring that Lagos was safe. And I have no doubt that he would rise again to meet this current challenge,” he said.
The Armoured Shield Medical Complex and its Command structure are situated in four different locations across Lagos with an Incident Command Office in Victoria Island. It is the only private hospital group in Lagos with in-house facility for PCR testing, ambulance response, CT scan, isolation care, hospital care with Level 3 ICU capacity for COVID-19 treatment.
At one of such interactions today, the sensitisation team engaged members of the public at markets, motor mechanic workshops, garages and parks at Agege, Ojota, Ikeja, Ogba, Alausa Secretariat and environs, addressing the people and obtaining feedback, just as essential Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials such as flyers and posters were distributed.
The team, led by the Director of Public Enlightenment, Mr. Toyin Adeni-Awosika, emphasised the need for adherence to guidelines stipulated by the government to curtail the spread of the deadly virus, pointing out that the State Government is dismayed at the flagrant disregard for COVID-19 protocols by members of the public.
“People mingle without adherence to physical distancing, face masks are not worn in public places, while hand sanitisers are absent in most public and private institutions. Such practices expose individuals to COVID-19. Everyone must take responsibility to stop the spread of this deadly virus by obeying all guidelines. COVID is real”, he said.
Adeni-Awosika also advised transport operators to take the temperature of commuters, warning them to desist from flouting physical distancing protocols relating to the number of passengers allowed in their commercial vehicles.
During the sensitisation programme, fliers were distributed to pedestrians and motorists at the various locations, while traditional, religious and opinion leaders in communities, Community Development Committees (CDCs) and Community Development Associations (CDAs) were enjoined to influence their subjects and followers to abide by government directives in order to end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has continued its advocacy campaign, through radio jingles about the COVID-19 pandemic, on public and private media in various languages, while its social media handles have also continued to reel out messages to influence an attitudinal change.