We Are In The Stage Of Community Spread, Abayomi Says As He Warns Against Stigmatization

Channels Television  
Updated April 25, 2020


The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, has said that the state has reached a stage of community spread in its fight against the COVID-19 and it is making every effort to manage the situation.

He said this during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Saturday, while also urging residents and health practitioners not to stigmatize people.

“We are in the stage of community spread and we are trying to manage it. We are doing everything possible to ensure that Lagosians are informed, Lagosians are able to take the appropriate amount of risk based on their circumstances and that we are taking the right kind of support for the people,” Abayomi said.

Regarding the issue of some persons flouting the lockdown order and its overall effects on the fight against the pandemic, the commissioner said: “I think every segment of Lagos requires a slightly different strategy. It can’t be on cap fits all.

“Someone in Victoria Island doesn’t have the same priorities as someone in Makoko and there is a whole range in between. I think what Mr Governor is doing is that he is trying to size up all the respective situations.

“He gets a situation analysis every day, he debates with cabinet, data is very critical, we supply data on a daily basis and with that data, it helps you to change your policies and the policies are changing every 24 hours based on what we are finding and based on hot spots,”.

Read Also: Lagos State Records Another Death From COVID-19

As of today, the number of cases in Nigeria now stands at 1,095 with Lagos as the epicentre as it accounts for more than half of that figure.

Abayomi, however, believes that the state has been proactive in handling the cases.

“Nigeria’s figures are way better than any other figures we’ve seen around the world, for one, because at least in the epicentre in Lagos, we’ve been proactive,” he said.

The commissioner also stated that the pandemic had been predicted years ago and the chances of more of such pathogens infecting humans, keeps increasing more so, because of the increased amount of environmental degradation.

He, however, assured that the Lagos state understands its unique demographic profiles and is taking proactive steps.

“We knew something like this was going to happen since 2015 and the WHO had been telling us that it was going to happen.

“Various think tanks around the world have been predicting it. We call these kind of germs, pathogens of high consequence.

“What that means is that if a pathogen like that gets into your community, there are high consequences not only for your wellbeing but to your economy and security.

“The way the world is going now, we are seeing an increase in number of these zoonotic events…what we call the ability of a dangerous pathogen to jump from the animal kingdom, to the human kingdom and that’s because we’ve destroyed our environment and the opportunity for these kinds of events is going to keep increasing.

“We know that in Lagos and we know that there are peculiar demographic profiles in Lagos and we know that to be successful in Lagos, you have to be on the offensive because we have a very unusual demographic profile and we have a relatively weak health infrastructure.

“You don’t recognise your weakness and wait for your enemy to come. You go out and attack”.