As Lagos continues to record an increase in COVID-19 positive cases in recent weeks suggestive of a second wave, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said that citizens need to make lifestyle adjustments by adhering to all non-pharmaceutical interventions in order to cope with the global pandemic.
Abayomi, who stated this today while giving an update on the State Government’s response against the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic at a press briefing held in Ikeja, explained that the lifestyle adjustment to be adopted by citizens would include adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols including proper and regular use of face mask, adhering to physical distancing guidelines and avoiding mass gatherings.
Others, according to him, include imbibing and practising regular hand and respiratory hygiene, submitting for tests if symptomatic, self-isolating if positive and presenting to an isolation centre for follow up.
The Commissioner noted that the State Government will continue to educate and engage citizens on safety protocols and the need to take responsibility against the infection whilst also enforcing various guidelines and directives issued by the government.
“We will deploy effective messaging and education via our various public information channels and platforms, while we enforce all guidelines through the respective State agencies,” Abayomi said.
While explaining the changing profile of the Coronavirus disease, Abayomi attributed the reason for the second wave of COVID-19 to include the opening up of the economy, general laxity, a false sense of security, non-adherence to safety guidelines by citizens, re-opening of schools, large religious congregations, social gatherings and entertainment among others.
He noted that COVID-19 positivity for inbound travellers to Lagos is on the rise with an increase of 8% this week alone and 4% cumulatively, stressing that this can be attributed to the large numbers of Nigerians in the diaspora who are returning to spend the yuletide in Lagos.
He encouraged inbound travellers to Lagos to ensure they self-isolate for seven days after arrival and submit self for testing at government-accredited private laboratories upon expiration of the self-isolation period.
In his words, “According to the provisional quarantine protocol, all intending inbound passengers must test negative by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) done in the country of departure within 72 hours of boarding and are required to register via http://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng and pay for a repeat (second) PCR test to be done upon arrival in Nigeria on day seven at an accredited lab of their choice”.
“Passengers must also prior to boarding fill in an online Health Declaration/Self-Reporting form located on the Nigeria International Travel Portal which must be submitted online or printed for presentation on arrival in Nigeria”.
“On arrival in Nigeria, passengers must show evidence of payment with an appointment for a repeat PCR test in-country following which passengers will be cleared through Nigeria Immigration Service. Passengers must then proceed on a seven-day self-isolation as per protocol and present at the designated accredited sample collection sites on the 7th day of arrival.
Passengers who test negative after seven days will end self-isolation on the 8th day”, the Commissioner explained.
Abayomi noted that the resolve to stop COVID-19 transmission amongst the populace is unshaken, adding that the Incident Command System will continue to vigorously pursue all strategies and plans to ensure a COVID-19 free Lagos and Nigeria.
“It is also important that citizens take responsibility and adhere strictly to safety protocols and government guidelines to curtail the spread of the infection”, he declared.