News Lagos targets scaling up coronavirus testing capacity to 2,000...

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Lagos targets scaling up coronavirus testing capacity to 2,000 daily

News Lagos targets scaling up coronavirus testing capacity to 2,000 daily

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed plans to scale up its testing capacity for COVID-19 from 850 to 1500 and 2000 daily.

This is subject to the availability of COVID-19 extraction kits considering the acute global shortage.

Sanwo-Olu, disclosed this among other measures, while giving an update on COVID-19 situation in the state, during a live broadcast, Saturday, 11th in the series.

According to the governor, who is the Incident Commander, “Let me say, as I have said before, that the success of our efforts, at ramping up testing, is part of the reason why we are seeing a significant escalation in the number of cases in Lagos State.

“Quite clearly, also, we are firmly in the community transmission stage of the infection, and the only way to be sure we are making all the right decisions is ensuring that we continue to scale up testing.

“We now have four testing facilities in Lagos State, and we remain grateful to the NCDC and all other partners who are involved.

“Our combined lab capacity is at about 850 tests daily. This is easily scalable to 1500 and 2000 subject to the availability of extraction kits considering the acute global shortage.

“Lagos State has paid for over 20,000 extraction kits and has placed an order for another 20,000 in its bid to test at least 120,000 in the next 60 days.

“50 per cent of the backlog, I spoke about recently, has been cleared which is also responsible for the recent seemingly high rate of positive cases in the last couple of days.

“Suppliers of kits are the manufacturers and their local representatives. However, the bid is open to any company with repute and integrity who can supply the desired kits to specification.

“In this same vein, I have also mandated the state laboratory apparatus to commence the local production of certain items used for the diagnostic process and this has commenced already.

“We have also started a biweekly procurement of laboratory needs to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests are done in about 2 months.

“In addition to increasing Testing capacity, we are also actively increasing our isolation capacity. You will also see a change in our Isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation.

“What this means is that we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients.

“We must be careful to ensure that this is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases.”

“There is also the important task of ensuring that we are collecting all the right data and using these data to plan and to revise our response as a State.

“I am pleased to note that Lagos State is developing an emergency digital response platform that will help us collect the data necessary for informed decision making.

“While we will continue to pay attention to the stories and experiences being shared in other places, I would like to assure you that the data we gather, and the safety of all of you the good people of Lagos, will continue to be the prime determinants of our decision-making. ”

“Yesterday, (Friday) Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed that our data modelling estimates that by July, we may have as many as 120,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Lagos.

“That is a projection – it does not necessarily have to be our reality. However, the only way to ensure that projections do not become reality, is taking the projections as a warning, and using them to influence and modify our behaviour towards greater compliance and discipline.”

On the medical update of the COVID-19 in Lagos State, Sanwo-Olu added, “This week has been unprecedented in terms of the numbers of newly confirmed cases in Lagos State. As at Friday May 8, 2020, we had 1,683 confirmed cases. Of that number, 448 have been treated and discharged, while we have, sadly, lost 33 persons.

“In the six days since my last address to you, while we have seen a 32 per cent increase in the number of fatalities in Lagos State, and a 62 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases, we have also seen a remarkable 100 per cent increase in the number of persons who have fully recovered.

“This trend of recoveries is very encouraging, and we believe it will continue at this rate. It gives us some of the much-needed confidence to face the difficult days and weeks ahead.”

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