The Lagos State Government says it has tested about 16, 000 COVID-19 suspected cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria at a cost of N40, 000 to N50, 000 per test.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known at the Lagos COVID-19 update on Thursday.
He said that Lagos had conducted the highest number of COVID-19 tests in Nigeria, with four testing laboratories, and planned to increase the testing sites in the coming weeks.
According to him, as the state plans to ramps up its testing capacity to about one thousand tests on a daily basis, efforts are on to get the cost subsidised through insurance or donations by aid partners.
“For now, the Lagos State Government is providing COVID-19 tests free of charge,” he said.
The commissioner said that Lagos will be validating a rapid-testing model, which will give hospitals the opportunity to test any person coming to the medical facility under 10 minutes. noting that some manufacturers have been engaged for this activity.
Prof Abayomi said the state is about to roll out Hydroxychloroquine trial, adding that the state was also participating in a World Health Organisation (WHO)’s solidarity trial of the drug in one of its isolation centres.
“In about a month, we should start getting results from the Lagos trial.
“Then, we can decide whether Chloroquine can act as a preventive or curative purpose, and how effective it will be in reducing the severity of the disease,” the commissioner said.
Abayomi noted that Lagos was in the process of regularising home isolation and treatment for some COVID-19 patients, especially those with mild symptoms of the infection.
The commissioner said that incorporating home isolation was due to an increase in the numbers of people avoiding isolation centres and practicing self-treatment at various places.
He maintained that contrary to what was obtainable in other countries; most patients that were infected with COVID-19 in Lagos were expected to make full recovery.
Abayomi cautioned the public against stigmatising people infected with the virus, saying, “it is not a crime or death sentence”.
According to him, the Traditional Medicine Board is working on home remedies that could be taken to boost the immune system.
He said that LASG is reviewing Bio-Security Emergency Preparedness Plan that will enable the State to ramp up capacity of its healthcare system & emergency response for future pandemic(s). This plan will raise the Government’s capacity in controlling water-borne, airborne infectious diseases.
He added that the state government had the virus under control and evolving various strategies to reduce its impact on the citizens.