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Seven Private Laboratories Get Approval To Commence COVID-19 Testing In Lagos

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Lagos State Government has approved the inclusion of seven private laboratories, namely: Total Medical Services, SynLab, 54 Gene, Medbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services and Clina Lancent Laboratories among its testing facilities as part of efforts to expand the testing capacity for COVID-19 of the State.

The laboratories were selected and approved by the State Ministry of Health to carry out COVID-19 test after a rigourous accreditation and validation process by the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) and the Lagos State Bio-Bank.

Speaking at a ceremony to formally introduce the laboratories to the public, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed that a key element in the next phase of the State’s response strategy is to expand diagnostic testing to strategically ensure a larger number of people have access to the COVID-19 test.

Abayomi added that State Government has developed an inclusive strategy that aims to harness the public and private sectors to rapidly expand the State’s capacity to meet the growing demand for testing in the next stage of the State’s biosecurity road map.

He said, “We recognise the need to expand our testing capacity, especially to the local government areas that are most affected by the community transmission of the virus and, as Lagos State continuously manages the public crises caused by COVID-19, it simultaneously attempts to open up various aspects of its economy. Both efforts make it imperative that COVID-19 tests are widely available to members of the public”.

“In a bid to ramp up our testing capacity, we have taken a strategic decision to include private laboratories in the testing of COVID-19. However, the State’s COVID-19 response will remain a centrally managed emergency response by the State Government and the need to test will be surveillance driven and based on a clear case definition”, the Commissioner added.

He averred that the State Ministry of Health has also identified potential opportunities to achieve its goal of expanded testing via a carefully articulated framework, stressing that recognition of the potential opportunities led to the partnership with the private sector laboratories to rapidly increase diagnostic testing for COVID-19 response.

While noting that the accredited private laboratories will carry out only PCR test, Abayomi stated that the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) kits remains illegal in Lagos until the State government can validate RDT kits that actually work.

In his words “In order to expand our testing capacity, we considered the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits. To facilitate the quick validation of the RDT Kits and reduce the barrier of entry for proposed manufacturers and supplier of RDT Kits, Mr. Governor paid the validation fees for the RDT kits”.

“However, upon review of the several RDT kits that were submitted for validation, we can report that none of the RDT kits passed the validation exercise. RDT kits have a very high risk of giving false positive or negative results and in the event that a false positive result is given, a potentially negative person will be subjected to trauma, isolation and treatment like a positive patient. In the event that a false negative is given, a potentially positive person is allowed to continue to roam freely in the community regardless of his positive status”, Abayomi posited.

Highlighting the demand for COVID-19 testing in the community, the Commissioner opined that citizens will request for COVID-19 test to confirm status periodically, as part of requirements for returning to work, regulatory requirements for selected industries like the food and beverage industry, local and international travel requirements, requirements for resuming school and admission into hospital.

“We expect demand for tests from the following industries: individuals in the informal sector, banking and finance, manufacturing, food and beverages, schools, the aviation industry, fast-moving consumer goods and hospitality amongst others. Based on the projected cumulative demand from the above, we believe that demand for COVID-19 tests could exceed 4,000 per day in the next six months”, he said.

Abayomi noted that the Lagos State Biobank will serve as the central coordinating body for the accredited private laboratories and will facilitate an effective information exchange, access to training, maintain a secure chain of custody procedure and ensure technical standards in the operations of the laboratories.

Earlier in his presentation, the Director Lagos State Bio-Bank, Dr. Bamidele Mutiu explained that the accredited private laboratories were identified to have the equipment and expertise to test for COVID-19 within the parameters of the testing strategy.

He said, “The selected laboratories went through a rigorous accreditation process with the State’s Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA). The accredited private laboratories were then validated by the Lagos State Bio-Bank”.

“The exercise involved validating the outputs of the samples they tested and following the successful validation of the private laboratories, the State proceeded to build their capacity in Infection Prevention and Control as well as the management of a biosafety lab”, Mutiu explained.

He noted that State’s decision to commence community-based care makes it imperative to expand PCR testing capacity, stressing that there are currently a larger number of PCR machines in the private sector than there are in the public sector.

“The idea is to decentralise testing, while maintaining the integrity and regulation of sample collection, testing and result validation”, Mutiu stated.

The high point of the event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the Ministry of Health and representatives of the accredited private laboratories.

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Nigerian Doctor Explains Why Poor People Hardly Contract COVID-19

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Have you been wondering why ordinary folks seem to be less affected by covid 19?

Whenever my drivers, house helps and security come back from their leave at home, I always asked them the state of things in their villages. Up till today in the last 1year, none has come back with any news of deaths or serious illnesses requiring hospitalization in their homes or surroundings.

I visited the SABO market in Sagamu and the tomato market at toll gate in ogere. I questioned many traders if any stall or store owners have been missing, or did not come to the market or have actually died. Responses were always negative. So clearly the prevalence of noticeable infection with covid 19 is less among the lower class and fatalities appear to be higher among the upper class.

However, It is necessary to make some adjustment for the fact that deaths among the elite class readily get media attention than those of regular folks.

Melinda gates’ prediction failed woefully because there was no way she could have foreseen this demographic prevalence factor in the spread of covid19.

The overall infectivity and fatalities in Africa are disproportionately much lower than the rest of the World!!!

WHAT IS THE MAGIC HERE?

Simply put, the magic is SUNLIGHT.
People who are daily exposed to sunlight are able to convert some chemicals in their skins to vitamin D, especially D3. Scientists have incontrovertible evidence that Vitamin D seriously boosts human immunity and actually have the capacity to prevent respiratory and lung diseases.

In the case of Covid19, vitamin D3 can prevent infection in some people and in others who still get infected, it decreases the severity of the infection and recovery rate is far better.

Recently a petition signed by 120 physicians spread across the globe, (I have a copy) has been sent to world leaders and governments to treat vitamin D deficiency common in Europe and Americas, who have effective sunlight for just a few months in a year and hence have large numbers of the populace suffering from vitamins deficiency leading to high rates of susceptibility to covid19 infections and deaths.

Many of us elites in Africa are also vitamin D deficient and this makes us ready targets for covid19 infections also. This is because we are hardly in the sun all year round.

Yet a 30 mins lounge daily in the bright sunlight gives one about 20,000 IU of vitamin D in our blood. This figure is much much higher than our daily requirement of which is about 4000 IU of vitamin D.

This is why young people, students, hawkers, traders and many who toil daily under the Sun have a very high immunity against covid19.

So my dear elders, VIPs and Ogas please walk leisurely or lounge in the sun for 20 to 30 mins daily, and with your face masks always on public and observing normal covid protocols, with daily supplications to the Almighty, you will place a Ban on covid 19 from affecting you and your household.

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COVID-19: Lagos Finally Activates Oxygen Plants At Infection Disease Hospital

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The Lagos State Government has activated an Oxygen Plant within the premises of the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Yaba, to provide swift support to COVID-19 patients who require oxygen therapy.

Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who activated the plant amidst the increased demand for oxygen occasioned by the second wave of COVID-19 infection, noted that the deployment and activation of the oxygen plant is in furtherance of the commitment of the State government to deploy an effective response to the pandemic.

While noting that the oxygen plant was built, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Abayomi explained that the oxygen from the newly installed plant will be administered to patients through cylinders made available at hospital wards.

The Commissioner added that the operation of the plant will significantly make oxygen available for COVID-19 patients, supply about 300 cylinders per day and six cylinders per hour for use of patients admitted at the isolation facility.

“We recognise the importance of generating oxygen because of the large number of patients who are currently on admission in our isolation centres and are, largely, depending on oxygen. This has resulted in an escalating and alarming demand for oxygen”, Abayomi stated.

“The oxygen plant facility could not have come at a better time than now, when the State is recording an increase in the number of people presenting with difficulty in breathing and requiring urgent oxygen therapy”, he added.

Disclosing that about 300 cylinders of gas are being used a day in the State isolation facility, the Commissioner informed that a patient with a critical case may use about six cylinders of oxygen within 24 hours.

He explained that oxygen plants are industrial devices designed for regular supply into healthcare facilities, adding that high purity oxygen is needed in hospitals and essential for patients undergoing COVID treatments.

“This is particularly useful for patients with comorbidities who require prompt oxygen for survival. Oxygen from the plant will be very helpful for effective treatment due to proximity of the plant which serves as source”, Abayomi said.

While restating the commitment of the State government in the fight against COVID-19, the Commissioner assured that the present administration will not relent in its all-inclusive style of response against the pandemic, through greater collaboration with the private sector.

“This collaboration between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a good example of collaboration between government and the private sector”, he said.

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Health

Second Wave Of COVID-19: Ogun Govt Launches Oxygen Therapy Centre

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In a bid to stem the second wave of COVID-19, Ogun State government has officially opened its oxygen therapy centre.

The centre was opened on Monday in Abeokuta by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, who said while speaking with newsmen that the opening of the facility was also to avoid a situation of scarcity of the life-saving consumable.

Dr Coker who informed that the centre consists of 20 beds of high dependency capacity noted that it was part of the state’s preparation to scale up its preparedness to contain the second wave of the pandemic.

According to her, the oxygen therapy centre will help to ensure that Ogun does not run out of oxygen like some states are experiencing at the moment.

She said; “The Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital ( OOUTH) Isolation centre is at 90 per cent capacity right now which means that people have to take cognizance of being responsible for their own health.

“Our positivity rate prior to December was roving around 0.7 – 0.8 per cent but since December, particularly January, our positivity rate has gone up by about 8 per cent which means that this second wave is real. Hence, we all have to pay attention and do all the necessary things needed to protect ourselves.

“We are more concerned as a state but we are prepared. We have OOUTH, Federal Medical Center, Abeokuta, Ikenne Isolation Centers all available.

“Our Oxygen Therapy Center in Iberekodo, Abeokuta will help to ensure that we do not run out of oxygen like some states are experiencing at the moment. We are responding appropriately to contain and curtail this second wave,” Coker added.

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