The Lagos State Government on Tuesday advised citizens to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against COVID-19 infection to prevent a recurrence of lockdown of the economy.
Prof. Akin Abayomi, the State Commissioner for Health, said that resurgence of cases in Lagos might lead to reversal of strategical measures put in place by the state government to open up the economy.
Abayomi warned that continuous flagrant disregard of safety guidelines by citizens portends danger and might lead to a second wave of new infections in Lagos.
He also advised citizens against unnecessary movement and social gatherings, saying that travelling into and outside the country should be discouraged, except if absolutely necessary.
Abayomi said that many countries and cities were experiencing a second and third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a resultant spike in the number of cases and fatalities.
The commissioner said many of the affected countries around the world have found it necessary to impose a second lockdown and restriction of movements, which have significant socio-economic and security consequences.
“The first wave of Coronavirus started in December 2019 and swept through an unprepared world.
“The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded in Lagos on February 27, 2020. Lagos has since become the epicentre of the outbreak in Nigeria with a record of 21,107 confirmed cases and 212 deaths from the virus till date.
“The containment measures put in place at the time included COVID-19 testing, isolation and treatment, surveillance, total shutdown of the state for about 12 weeks and partial shutdown of social, economic and academic activities for over four months,” Abayomi said.
The commissioner expressed concern that the use of face masks, social distancing and hand hygiene had reduced among citizens.
He called for the reinforcement of the adoption and adherence of various preventive measures put in place by the state government to tackle the disease.
“The erroneous belief that COVID-19 has been conquered and is no more in Nigeria should be discarded.
“Based on our data, this assumption is invalid.
“It creates a false sense of security among the citizens, causing many to abandon the use of face masks and other safety measures and protocols put in place by the government,” he said.
According to him, though, the state has reached its peak as predicted, and a decline in the number of positive cases, citizens should not conclude that it is over.
“COVID-19 is still very much with us as evidenced in the number of cases being recorded in the community daily and occasional deaths from severe complications.
“This is the more reason why citizens should not relent in this regard, if we don’t want to experience a second wave of the disease,” he said.
Abayomi said that the increased COVID-19 testing capacity of the state had been impactful in reducing community transmission.
According to him, any citizen who fall within the case definition of COVID-19 infection should visit any of the dedicated sample collection sites in their local government or public laboratories to get the test done free of charge.