BY GEORGE OKOJIE, Lagos
Following an increase in the number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the state government is considering partnership with the private sector to tackle the challenges posed by the surge occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic.
Speaking during a press conference on COVID-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu said previous partnerships have helped the state to enhance its response capacity.
“The Lagos State Government is actively partnering with the private sector in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the areas of testing, oxygen deployment, as well as the clinical management of moderate to severe cases. These partnerships have helped enhance the State’s response to the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic.
“In a bid to further explore this proven synergistic approach, the Lagos State Government is currently reviewing the feasibility of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the management of some of our public isolation centres. It is our hope that this would expedite the re-opening of previously closed centres, and also avail us the benefits of the operational cost-efficiencies that experienced private sector management can bring to bear.”
He said it is important that Lagos State residents begin to learn to live and act responsibly, in order to augment the government’s efforts and previous success of flattening the curve.
Harping on home-based care strategy for those that may be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that do not require admission into our isolation centres, he said,’’ Our telemedicine service, EKOTELEMED, has been deployed to assist in the management of residents in the comfort of their homes. Available to reach on their toll-free line, 08000EKOMED (08000356633).
‘’The telemedicine service is manned by professional medical personnel to help nurse infected individuals back to health. They also have the ability to assess the severity of patients’ conditions and facilitate the evacuation of worsening cases, if need be. In addition, they also assist in facilitating the delivery of the Lagos State COVID-19 care packs which contain items that can support affected residents. 4,873 cases have so far been managed successfully by our Lagos-State-Government-owned EKOTELEMED platform. I enjoin Lagosians to take advantage of this service.’’
The governor insisted that travel protocols must be strictly adhered to if the curve of COVID-19 must be flattened.
He said, ‘’According to the provisional quarantine protocol, all intending passengers must test negative by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) from any country of exit within 72 hours prior to boarding. All inbound travellers are also required to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) website (http://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng).
‘’Passengers must then fill an online Health Declaration/Self-Reporting Form located on the NITP, which must be submitted online and printed for verification on arrival at the airport. Passengers must also show evidence of payment/appointment for a repeat PCR test, following which they will be cleared through the Nigeria Immigration System’s Migrants Identification Data Analysis System (MIDAS).
‘’Passengers’ biodata page will also be forwarded to all COVID-19 PCR sample collection centres to enable proper identification before sample collection. Passengers must then proceed on a 7-day self-isolation, and be present at the designated centre on the 7th day of arrival. Passengers who test negative after seven days will end self-isolation on the 8th or 9th day, while positive cases will be managed based on National Guidelines for COVID-19 treatment, or through our EKOTELEMED Service for passengers residing in Lagos.’’