The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has hailed Lagos State Government for its preparedness against the outbreak of infectious diseases, especially Coronavirus, which is fast spreading across the world.
Dr. Ehanire, who gave the commendation during his tour of facilities at the Mainland Hospital, which is the Lagos State Infectious Disease Hospital, expressed satisfaction at the level of infrastructure put in place by the government to contain any infectious disease.
He said that the state government, considering its vulnerability to infectious disease, had learnt lessons from the Ebola episode of 2014 and reflected the experience in its level of preparedness.
“It is quite clear that Lagos has a clear-cut edge in managing infectious diseases and preparedness. I am extremely happy that Lagos is equipped in the area of knowledge built from the foundation it obtained from the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which the state managed properly,” the minister said.
Ehanire, who also inspected Lagos State Bio-bank; the highest Bio-safety level 3 laboratory in West Africa located inside the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, praised the government for deploying additional 30 health personnel to assist with surveillance at the entry ports.
“I am highly impressed, happy and proud to see this level of preparedness. I have not just learnt something; I am impressed that the state has taken science to a very modern and admirable level. This is obviously a place a lot of lessons will be learnt,” he said.
The minister said the Federal Government and Lagos State government had a lot grounds for collaboration, as the Federal Government would be requesting support team from the state government to assist in certain areas where the experience gathered over the years could be shared.
“I am confident that Lagos is ready. They have the highest volume of air travels, so the preparedness here is more important than anywhere else,” he said.
Health Commissioner Prof. Akin Abayomi had said that the state government, through the Ministry of Health, had been working hard to prevent an import of Coronavirus into the state and ramping up its preparedness for containment should there be an outbreak.
Said he: “Since the experience we had with Ebola four years ago, we have been building capacity, infrastructure, revising our policies and laws, training workers that are specially equipped to deal with outbreak of infectious diseases such as Ebola, Monkey Pox, Lassa Fever and Coronavirus if it comes here.
So we are ready in Lagos, we have the facility, trained workers and robust surveillance system in place to contain and effectively manage an outbreak.”
Abayomi said the state government is supporting the Federal Government with workers at the airport just to make sure that anybody coming into Lagos goes through a thorough screening process, adding that officials of the state Ministry of Health will be following up persons who recently returned from countries that have person-to-person transmission of coronavirus for 14 days in their home.
“So we are making it very tight and we hope that with the policies and measures put in place, we will not see a serious situation happening in Lagos, but should that happen, our containment facilities at the Mainland Hospital, which is being rapidly up-scaled, will be able to effectively manage and contain it,” the commissioner said.