The Lagos State Government has set up an Incident Command System to ensure quick and effective response in case the Coronavirus is imported into the state.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made this known on Monday, February 3, 2020 at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, while briefing stakeholders on efforts and the preparedness of his administration to tackle the global concern.
Sanwo-Olu said the heightened state of concern which the Incident Command System was aimed at ensuring was in no way discriminatory or aimed at stigmatising anyone.
“What we have started to do is to have what we call a heightened state concern on the Coronavirus; we are not declaring an emergency in any form.
“What that means is that with immediate effect, I will take charge as the Chief Incidence Commander for this concern and the Honorable Commissioner for Health will be the Deputy Incidence Commander with immediate effect from today,” he said.
The governor said that relevant health professionals, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health, would be deployed to the Lagos International Airport for a higher level of monitoring.
He said that the government and Non-Governmental Organisations would continue to escalate communication and create public awareness.
Sanwo-Olu said that the team expected people to be self-quarantined, and that the state would carry out a supervised quarantine.
He said that immigrants’ details would be taken at the point of entry, while the team would do daily follow-ups through phone calls to identified individuals for a period of two weeks.
According to him, the command will be in operation for the period of time the risk lasts, as adequate preparation has been carried out to tackle the virus.
“This command will go on until when we believe, and we have been given assurance that we have a stable and controlled environment.
“But in the meantime, these exercises are going to be put in place, and we are going to start things immediately.
“I also want to mention that we have started providing both human and material logistics required for this exercise.
“All of our major General Hospitals are also being prepared in event of an outpour into any of them.
“The hospitals in mainland have tents coming up and extensive resources are being put in that particular health facility for them to be on standby in case of any suspected or identified case,” he said.
The governor cautioned residents against sending unconfirmed text messages or spreading such on social media platforms.
The public, he said, would be duly informed in case the virus got into the state.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that there was no suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus in Lagos State.
According to him, in addition to activating all the Lagos contagious disease response centres, including the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) within Mainland Hospital in Yaba, all General hospitals and primary healthcare centres across the state have been put on alert.
He said that while the state was adequately prepared for eventualities, those who had visited any of the countries where cases of the virus had been reported should observe self-quarantine for at least 14 days.
In his remarks, the Chinese Consul-General, Mr Chu Maoming, said there was no suspected or confirmed case of the virus in Lagos.
According to him, the 34 persons who recently visited the Peoples Republic of China had returned to Lagos more than 20 days ago.
Maoming said that his country had risen to the task to curb the spread of the virus, which originated from the Wuhan region.
The Chinese Consul-General called on Lagos residents and Nigerians not to be afraid or stigmatise any Chinese citizen in their midst.
By Florence Onuegbu