Lockdown: Persevere much more, Lagos Assembly appeals to Lagosians

April 22, 2020

The Lagos State House of Assembly has appealed to Lagosians to strictly adhere to restriction order imposed by the government in order to stem the spread of the virus in no distant time.

A Joint committee of the house on Health and Information stated this on a visit to four topical Coronavirus treatment and Isolation centres in the state for a sightseeing of the facilities in order to ascertain how adequate the health care services afforded there are.

The committee visited the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) Yaba, Isolation Centre at Onikan Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Eti Osa Isolation Centre at Landmark Victoria Island and the Cardiac and Renal Centre General Hospital Gbagada, which has also been drafted for prompt medical care as the virus bites harder in the State, given the circulated statistics by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

In their observation during the tour around the facilities, the committee noticed a proactive response to the pandemic as basic equipments were afforded.

Aside from slight inadequacies sighted at the IDH with respect to the provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) for frontline healthcare givers; the Nurses and hygienists as well as testing kits, which they promise to make recommendations for needed attention.

According to the team led by Hon. Hakeem Sokunle the chairman House Committee on Health Services and accompanied by Hon. Tunde Braimoh the Chairman House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy, the government is living no stone unturned to mitigate the further spread of the virus but really needs the cooperation of the people.

Also part of the team was Hon. Temitope Adewale Chairman House Committee on Transportation and Hon.Desmond Elliott Chairman House Committee on Environment.

Sokunle harped on the aptness of the government’s insistence on sit at home order as the best way to curb the spread of the virus, weighing the grave consequences of getting infected on an individual.

The lawmaker commended the Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the lockdown, noting that it will if strictly adhered to aid quick detection and immediate medical attention.

Sokunle noted this as the best way to curb the further spread of virus.

“Let us commend the government giving out that executive order, I must say this, having it slow does not mean that we will achieve 100 per cent success and having it fast has nothing to do with success.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Gombe to introduce stringent measures as state records five new cases

“The good thing about the place is if there is a lockdown, it will confine everybody in his or her room or places of abode and that would enable us if there is any outbreak to come down to your residence and pick you up for treatment.

“So the lockdown will only assist us to be able to identify all the people affected by the Coronavirus.

“The best way to curb the spread is through absolute lockdown, I understand it is not easy but sometimes we should be able to consider the effect of COVID-19 because if you witness the effect of the virus on the human being it is very very bad.

“You can imagine shortened breathing, coughing and all the rest, it will get to a time that the respiratory organ oozes blood.

“So if the government said we should lockdown, we should be able to abide by it and lockdown,” Sokunle said.

Speaking on the barrage of complaints that trailed the palliatives distribution around the state, Honourable Tunde Braimoh appealed to Lagosians to persevere a lot more, as the situation demands drastic actions being a sudden one for which preparation was made earlier.

The lawmaker noted the disruptive manner by which the pandemic took on the world, citing the fact that the people need to be encouraged by the efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, who went out of their ways to bring succour to vulnerable persons at this time of despair and fear.

“The House of Assembly has observed being the closest to the people that more than an average of the complaints received across the state bothers on palliatives and that was why in the committee set up by the Rt. Honourable Speaker Dr Mudashiru Obasa to meet with the State Governor His Excellency Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, led by the Deputy Speaker in the company of eight other members who had a very useful meeting with the governor and were able to put this to the fore

“That there were so many complaints about the adequacy or even availability of the palliatives, in some areas it varies, in some places it was not adequate, in some others, they have yet gotten at all and the Governor actually assured the committee of the whole house of Assembly that nobody expected these problems and we should give kudos to government for responding.

“Most of the places where responses are faster and more adequate is because they have the data already that they’ve been using to do social support or social intervention to their people all along.

“We don’t have any verifiable database here and so you have to be sure that not just some people are getting many while some of them none.

“So the Governor is that concerned and he has said going by the received reports from us and other sources, that he is working on a verifiable database to make palliatives available to people in no distant future.

“It could be today or tommorow one can’t tell, but it will be as soon as possible.

“I want to say that contrary to the erroneous or mischievous believe of some people that members of the Assembly have been given palliatives to share to them, that is not so.

“None of us has collected any kobo, we won’t even collect it, we won’t even be given anyway because it is not our own duty. We don’t touch money our own duty is to appropriate money to the executive arm of government,we don’t go to the arena or field and do that ourselves.

“But out of our own altruistic and patriotic zeal because we know that talk about governance or anything you have to be cognizant of your own immediate environment the system that we operate in Nigeria is one that requires sympathy and empathy and you must be seen at all times to identify with yearnings, objectives and aspirations of our people.

“When your people are in distress they don’t understand your check and balance on abuse of power.

“So you have to come out as somebody who was given the mandate, love and aspirations of the people and their confidence, you must justify those things at all times.

” That is why each and every member, like Mr Speaker gives daily breakfast to people, 30,000 loaves of bread and more daily, other members myself inclusive have also done a lot of cash transfers as well giving out bags rice, garri, beans and lots more to our constituents to alleviate the hardship posed by the lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19.

“I want to appeal to our people, we understand quite clearly the import of times are very telling on our people, we know of people who work and earn their living on a daily basis when they don’t work in a day it is difficult for them to adequately fend for themselves.

“Nigerian system is largely informal maybe about ten per cent of the population is employed by the government and maybe another 20 per cent by the private sector the rest are earning their living through small or medium scale enterprises most of which are owned by sole proprietors, like motorbike operators, plumber, hairdresser and many people who are into petty trading are having it rough and we understand that.

“We want to beg our people to know that is one problem on one side which bothers on welfare the other problem on the other side is the COVID-19 which has to do with survivorship, about life and death, if somebody is alive that is when he can think about welfare, once dead you care less and death is a supreme sacrifice, we want to appeal to our people not to die.

“There are still hope for Nigeria, we want to appeal to us forebear and be introspective in our reactions to the dictates of this time.

“Of course it is frustrating, annoying and makes one angry as a result of hunger that is natural but we want our people to bear in mind that there is still a light at the end of the tunnel and there is still hope.” Said Braimoh.

Earlier, Dr Nifemi Oloniniyo the Medical officer at the IDH, who held forte for the Managing Director Dr Abimbola Bowale while conducting the committee round the facility noted that it has 103-bed spaces for patients along with two Isolation Centres around it.

Dr James Okediran who was also on ground at the IDH calls for more equipment because the numbers are increasing by the day.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr. Olusegun Ogboye was quick to call,the attention of Lagosians to the need for them not to be secretive, when having related symptoms as early detection and proper treatment will bring needed respite.

“We are in the community spread phase now yes, but we are finding more cases and we are taking them out of the community and I think if we can continue to do that over the next few weeks or so, we will be making major inroads into winning this COVID-19 war.

“I wouldn’t call that a success because we know they are out there, so we are going out and collecting samples, quite a few of which are still in the labs being tested now and I am almost certain that we will have some positive results out of this ones.

“So this is not the time to be feeling that we are having success if for one day we don’t have a positive result,” He said.

Samples were being taken for screening from individuals with symptoms, known history of contact with infected persons and of the virus to ascertain possibilities of their being infected and their status unravelled at the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).

Private bodies are however partnering the state for optimum delivery on tackling the pandemic, the likes of Guaranty Trust Bank which really partnered the state government in the provision of the Onikan Isolation Centre with 100-bed space capacity and 10 Intensive Care Units.

A body, Young President Organisation YPO led by the steering committee Chairman Dr. Richard Ajayi, in partnership with the state government also constructed another Isolation centre in two weeks at Eti Osa, with adequate equipment and is expected to be operational soon.

Dr Abiola Fasina the Emergency Healthcare Consultant at the Eti Osa Isolation Centre noted that the facility offers a 90-bed capacity and 10 bed ICU.

At Cardiac and Renal Centre General Hospital Gbagada, some partitioning and rehabilitation works were done to create space for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, while the core values of the entity subsist, it has 100 beds capacity and 20 ICU.

The Director Project Ministry of Health, Dr Abiodun Oduwole noted that the basic facilities within the centre are well protected in cordoned areas, different from where the COVID-19 pandemic will be treated and that the centre reverts back to original use after the COVID-19 battle is won.


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