The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, says the state cannot cope with the spread of coronavirus if an exponential increase is recorded in one or two weeks.

At a briefing on Monday, Abayomi also said the state is tracing 2,645 passengers of interest, saying that 352 of them have completed their 14-day isolation period.

He said, “We have 2,645 passengers of interest that we are tracing. 352 of them have completed their 14-day isolation and we are still following up with 2,293. In the next few days, most of them will exit their 14 days of isolation.

“The number of cases without a travel history has increased from 45 percent to 80 percent- that demonstrate that there is more local transmission going on as importation of cases is decreasing.

“Passengers of interest are the persons that have flown into Lagos on a flight where we have identified a confirm COVID-19 patient. The risk is that being on that flight with a confirmed case, they have been exposed and there is a possibility that they will manifest with COVID-19.”

He said this during a presentation on Monday on the trend of coronavirus in the state for the past two weeks, encouraging Lagosians to play their part in flattening the curve of the infection.

“If we see most of the cases in a very short period of time, it will quickly overwhelm the Lagos state health infrastructure.

“If we see 5,000 cases in four weeks or two weeks, we do not have the capacity to cope with that and most other countries do not have the capacity to cope with that,” he said.

He said the state has been showing a slow increase in the rate of Covid-19 cases different from the projection, but there is a need to flatten the curve to enhance the efficiency of the strategies.

“Vaccines are being developed, logistics are being perfected, with a flattened curve, there is a greater chance that patients with Covid-19, particularly those with complications will survive,” the commissioner said.

Flattening the COVID-19 curve
Showing the logistics and projections for COVID-19 in the state, the commissioner said there can be a steep rise of cases if there is no intervention.

“There is no cure for COVID-19, if you catch it, you either eliminate the virus yourself or we give you treatment to help you fight the infection.”

He said in cases of individuals with comorbidity, this weakens their immunity, giving the virus a chance to overwhelm their immunity and can result in death.

“There are more local transmissions in the state, which suggests that Lagosians need to adhere strongly to the directive of the government, otherwise things might go out of hand.

“If we are able to prolong the time frame when we are seeing cases, it is helpful in flattening the curve. Flattening the curve gives health workers the time to plan, create possible treatment, come up with possible vaccines and cope with the number of cases,” he said.

COVID-19 Projection
“By projection, Lagos is meant to have at least over 40,000 cases but the state has only recorded 120 cases,” Mr Abayomi said.

Mr Abayomi said if there was no intervention, there could be a steep rise in the number of cases, but with contact tracing and effective strategy, a decline in the number of cases will be recorded.

He stressed the role of community ownership and responsibility in flattening the curve through compliance with all the directives and policies of the state.

The commissioner said other countries have recorded an exponential rise in cases, but Lagos has been able to flatten the curve through effective strategies.

He urged citizens to continue to support the government through civil responsibilities and complying with all the directives given to curb the spread of the virus.

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