Lagos State Government, yesterday, threatens to sanction event centres and other violators of COVID-19 protocols in line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari. It also banned the gathering of more then 50 people in an enclosed space.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who stated this in a release said the state government had observed with dismay the widespread flagrant disregard and non-adherence to guidelines and protocols aimed at stemming and curbing the tide of infection.
“We particularly note that some event centres have been operating their premises outside the acceptable parameters for operation/usage and continue to be recalcitrant in this regard. This is to sound a very serious note of warning that henceforth all those found culpable and in breach of the existing regulations and guidelines would be swiftly and decisively dealt with in full accordance with the provisions of the law. Furthermore, and in line with the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, it is hereby directed that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.
“A breach of the provisions of the Presidential Regulations attracts upon summary conviction, a fine or six months imprisonment and or both. Our enforcement agencies have been appropriately tasked to ensure maximum compliance. All Lagosians are enjoined to continue to observe all laid down guidelines and protocols issued by both the state and federal governments for the effective containment and treatment of the Coronavirus disease,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said Lagos continues to be the epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and that as of january 29, the state had recorded a total of 47,871 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 34,094 had recovered in community, while 9,856 were currently active in community. Over the last 12 months, about 3,988 COVID-related patients have been admitted into the various care centres across the state; with a registered fatality rate of approximately 0.63% (301 deaths).
The governor reiterated that oxygen was free at all Lagos State-owned COVID-19 treatment centres.
“Lagos government does not charge for the use of Oxygen in its centres. Considering that oxygen demand has spiked to between 300 and 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, the government is working hard to ensure that availability and supply are very easily able to meet and even surpass this demand. To this end, a second oxygen plant is under construction at the Gbagada General Hospital, and will come on-stream within the next seven days. It is expected that this will boost the in-house capacity and availability of oxygen across all State Government managed treatment centres. It should be stressed that testing is free at all Lagos State public health laboratories, for all persons who fall within the case definition—that is, have symptoms such as fever, cough, cold, inability to smell or taste, headaches or general body weakness—or those who have come into close contact with anyone with any of these symptoms. Testing at our public health facilities will continue to remain free, but cannot be used for travel purposes.”
“The Lagos State government established a telemedicine service, EKOTELEMED, for patients who are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that do not require admission, and can therefore be managed in the comfort of their homes. EKOTELEMED is manned by well-trained medical personnel, and is available on a toll-free line, 08000EKOMED (08000356633). The state government would like to encourage as many people as possible, whose cases fall in the asymptomatic or mild category, to take advantage of this service. So far about 5,000 patients have been reached through EKOTELEMED, and more than a thousand care packs delivered to patients in the Home-based care programme.
“In view of the rising profile of the coronavirus disease due to the mutating variants now being discovered globally; and to shore up our containment and management capacity, I have approved the sum of N200million to support the ongoing patient management and treatment efforts of two Federal Government treatment centres in our state. LUTH will be receiving N150million and Federal Medical Center, Ebute Metta will be receiving N50million on Monday, February 1.”