The Lagos State government is considering strong steps to ensure the State is not taken by surprise as third wave of COVID-19 lurks around.
It has immediately placed all its facilities on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest a third wave of COVID-19 in the state.
Prof. Akin Abayomi, the state’s Commissioner for Health, in a statement on Monday, May 3, said the state was set to take steps to prevent another wave of COVID-19, following the flattening of the second wave.
Abayomi warned that a trigger for a third wave of COVID-19 in Lagos was likely to be the importation of new COVID-19 strains from inbound travelers.
He noted that all strides gained in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic would be lost without improved border surveillance against the importation of new and mutant strains, which may trigger the third wave.
“Currently, countries like India; Brazil; Argentina; Iraq; Qatar; Peru; and Uruguay are being ravaged by a vicious third or fourth wave; following a less active and insignificant second or third wave.
“The latest wave in India has been proven to be as a result of new mutant strains; that have resulted in a dramatic increase in sickness and death for two weeks running.
“Whilst we commiserate with countries like these; it is important that we protect our environment and residents against this virus.
“Especially as we have only less than one per cent of our population that have received their first dose of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine; similar to India that has about eight per cent,” he said.
Abayomi said the state government had authorised immediate measures; to fully enforce recent the protocol announced by the Federal Government for every inbound traveler.
According to him, the protocols include banning entry to non-Nigerian passengers who have been in Brazil, India, or Turkey in the last fortnight; due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus in the three countries.
The Commissioner said Nigerians and permanent residents of Nigeria who had been in those countries in the last 14 days would have to undergo mandatory quarantine for a week in a government-approved facility on arrival.
“All passengers arriving in Nigeria will now have to show a negative COVID-19 test; taken within 72 hours of travel rather than the previous 96 hours period.
“I have hence instructed that all these protocols would be made more stringent; to protect the residents of Lagos State from an impending third wave.
“As part of these protocols, passengers are to mandatorily isolate for the required seven days; and will be strictly monitored through phone calls by our EKOTELEMED platform; and physical visits to the passengers’ homes by our surveillance teams,” he said.
He warned that anyone that flouted the rule or gave a fake phone number or address to evade the protocol would be identified.