Lagos set for Coronavirus, activates Incident Command Structure

February 3, 2020
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<!– L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi during the launch of Incident Command System for the Novel Coronavirus at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, February 3, 2020. –>

L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi during the launch of Incident Command System for the Novel Coronavirus at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, February 3, 2020.

As part of efforts to strengthen preparedness and reduce the risk of importation of the deadly Coronavirus into Lagos, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday activated an Incident Command Structure to monitor, report and make daily important decisions on the evolving trends of the deadly infectious disease.

Sanwo-Olu, while activating the structure noted that the declaration of the disease as a public health emergency by the World Health Organization has heightened the State concern on the spread of the virus, adding that this is what necessitated the activation of the Incident Command Centre.

“What we have decided to do is to have a Heightened State Concern on Corona Virus. What this means is that with immediate effect, I will take charge as the Chief Incident Commander for this concern because it is a level in which I have to get involved personally and the Commissioner for Heath will be the Deputy Incident Commander with immediate effect,” he said.

The Incident Command Structure, according to him, would provide all logistics required, including both material and human resources needed to strengthen preparedness and make daily important decisions based on the evolving trends of the disease and in keeping with federal and international guidelines.

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The Governor revealed that the Ministry of Health has deployed medical professionals in various fields to the Muritala Muhammed International Airport to monitor and reduce the chances of entry of the virus into Lagos and increase surveillance systems and bio-security capacity to contain of any possible case with great emphasis on prevention and early detection.

“All of our General Hospitals have been prepared should we record a case of the disease. I am also aware that the structure of the infectious disease hospital at Mainland is being reorganized to manage any incidence that may occur and as we speak extensive resource are being put in that particular health facility”, he added.

He enjoined health care professionals in the state to escalate any health concern during the follow-up calls on citizens observing self-quarantine to the Incident Command Centre for prompt action.

“We are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Air and Sea Ports Authorities, Embassies of affected foreign missions and other stakeholders to ensure adequate surveillance as well as strengthening our primary and secondary health care structures to respond and cope with any possible disease outbreak,” Sanwo-Olu noted.

In his remarks, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi emphasised that the State has no suspected or confirmed case of the disease, stressing that efforts were being strengthened to reduce the risks of importation of the virus in Lagos State.

“We are putting several structures in place to reduce our vulnerability and improve our capacity to manage outbreak should we record any case. Daily, the Ministry of Health releases a public advisory to educate residents on the disease trends and we are also constructing field tents at the Mainland Hospital to improve our capacity to contain a surge”, Abayomi stated

He appealed to all public and private health care workers to escalate any health concern promptly assuring that any reported infectious diseases, including Coronavirus and Lassa fever would be adequately taken care of at the Mainland Infectious Disease hospital, Yaba purposely built for such purpose.

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