The Lagos State Government says the current lab testing capacity for the state is 850 persons per day.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Saturday during the state’s COVID-19 briefing.
According to the governor, this testing capacity can, however, be expanded to about 1,500 to 2,000 daily with the availability of adequate extraction kits.
“Our combined lab capacity is at about 850 tests daily.
“This is easily scalable to 1,500 and 2,000 subject to the availability of extraction kits considering the acute global shortage,” he said.
To achieve this, the governor said the state has paid for over 20,000 extraction kits and has placed an order for another 20,000 in its bid to test at least 120,000 in the next 60 days.
He also noted that the state has commenced a biweekly procurement of laboratory needs “to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests are done in a about 2 months”.
On Friday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had stated that isolation and treatment centres in the country are running out of bed spaces, even as the country records a total of 3,913 cases.
Lagos has remained the epicentre of the virus in the country with a total of 1,667 cases. While the state has also recorded an encouraging number of recoveries (of over 400 persons), there are still concerns about the increasing number of community transmissions.
But the governor, during Saturday’s briefing, assured Lagosians that in addition to the increased testing capacity, “we are also actively increasing our isolation capacity”.
“You will also see a change in our Isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation,” he added.
“What this means is that we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients”.
The governor also spoke about the collection of accurate data and beyond that, he announced that the state is developing an emergency digital response platform that will help in the collection of data, necessary for informed decisionmaking.
Speaking further, he recalled the fact that the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, had on Friday, disclosed that some data estimates had shown that by July, Lagos may record as many as 120,000 cases of the COVID-19.
“That is a projection – it does not necessarily have to be our reality”, he said.
To prevent this from becoming the reality, the governor urged Lagosians to take collective responsibility by adhering to the government’s guidelines even as the lockdown is being eased gradually.
“The only way to ensure that projections do not become reality is taking the projections as a warning, and using them to influence and modify our behaviour towards greater compliance and discipline”.
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