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Nigeria adds 14 countries to Covid-19 watch list

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The Lagos State Government has put 14 countries under scrutiny as part of its efforts to deter contamination and the dissemination of deadly new COVID-19 variants.

The state has already placed all emergency services across the state on high alert to detect early trends that might indicate a new outbreak of infections.

Prof. Akin Abayomi, the state Commissioner of Health, declared the action on Wednesday at a press conference, saying it was appropriate after variants from prohibited countries were discovered inside another region. 

Lagos, according to Abayomi, will continue to track migration from Canada, the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. 

The federal government has already imposed a ban on travellers from Brazil, India, and Turkey, threatening to penalize non-compliant airlines. Lagos would ensure that Nigerians returning on flights maintain the mandatory 7-day self-isolation, according to Abayomi, who also cautioned that the state will not hesitate to prosecute anybody who fails to follow the order, regardless of social class. 

He emphasized that general laxity, a false sense of confidence, and non-adherence to rules, religious holidays, COVID exhaustion, and the introduction of mutants and variants are all potential triggers for a third wave. According to Abayomi, the third wave of COVID-19 can be prevented using a five-pillar technique. 

“The Lagos state government has devised a five-pillar strategy to thwart a possible third wave. These involve requiring all travellers to take COVID-19 samples and introducing PCR tests to identify variants and a mandatory 7-day quarantine period. EKOTELEMED can also be used to monitor reported cases and offer telemedicine facilities. We’ll educate Lagos residents about the benefits of non-pharmaceutical measures like handwashing, social distancing, public meeting thresholds, and avoiding super spreader cases. 

“Our oxygen supply strategy can be divided into two phases: outsource oxygen plants to private partners and PPP for a 700-cylinder-per-day oxygen facility, as well as using the private sector to expand the number of vaccine doses administered.” “The Landmark, Agidingbi, Gbagada, FCC, Lagoon, and Onikan Isolation Centres have been closed, although the Amour II and Gbagada Isolation Centres have been reopened. 

550 beds are reportedly accessible out of a total capacity of 554. At IDH, Yaba, the number of patients requiring oxygen therapy has also decreased. The consumption of oxygen has decreased from an average of 300 bottles a day in January 2021 to 60 bottles a day in April 2021 as the number of positive cases has decreased.” 

Abayomi reported that the state of Lagos had so far registered 58,611 confirmed cases, 54,049 recovered, and 4,346 accepted cases, of which 3,906 were discharged, with 354 deaths.

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