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COVID-19: Lagos places 14 countries on watch list

…says Saudi Arabia returnees, others to observe 7-day isolation
…investigates 3 blood clotting cases

In a bid to urgently check the possible outbreak of a third wave of COVID- 19, the Lagos State government has said that it has placed 14 countries on its watch list, saying passengers from the identified countries will be closely monitored. Some of the countries identified unsafe and where the mutants of the virus are currently circulating are: United States (US), Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Canada, France, Germany, Uganda, Netherland, Cameroon, Angola and Rwanda.

The government also said that Nigerian pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia from the lesser hajj and other travellers from other countries would also be made to under go the sevenday self isolation regime before being allowed to integrate with other residents, saying that it was time for Nigerians to be more safety conscious. Speaking while giving an update on the management of COVID-19 and the plan to prevent the third wave, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, said that the state was also currently investigating three cases of blood clotting after vaccination, adding that several factors could be responsible for the blood clotting.

The commissioner said that passengers from countries the Federal Government identified as unsafe, such as India, Turkey and Brazil and others, would be given additional attention and be made to undergo self-isolation at designated places with more stringent measures and close monitoring to ascertain their safety before they are allowed to mix with other Nigerians.

He said that the state has also received an additional 57,000 doses of vaccine from the Federal Government, adding that it has also commenced another round vaccination for those who are yet to receive the first jab. He said that the state was doing everything possible to prevent the third wave of coronavirus pandemic in Lagos, and contain it if it happens.

He said: “In Lagos, we have experienced the first and the second waves and we are looking at the factors that could possibly trigger a third wave.” He decried the poor adherence to the the safety protocols by some residents, saying that the government has identified the laxity amongst citizens’ false sense of security.

He warned: “This is not a time to relax, this is a time to step up our activities and we are preventing scenarios that could trigger a third wave. Several countries are going through a second, third and even fourth wave and we are assuming that a majority of these waves are caused by a significant social activity and movement of people as well as the ability of the virus itself to change.”

But in order to effectively manage and possibly prevent the third wave of COVID-19, Abayomi said some strategies will be carried out along five pillars which are “to Keep testing high in order to detect positive cases of COVI-19 and examine the variants; Use Eko-Telemed to monitor confirmed cases; Standard hygiene principles and social distancing; Increase oxygen supply to manage the possible cases that might come in the third wave; and Pharmaceutical intervention to increase vaccination.” The commissioner advised citizens to respect COVID-19 rules and prevent scenarios that could serve as super spreaders for the COVID-19 virus.

This, he added, could only be achieve if everyone remain safety conscious and adhere strictly to the established guidelines for the prevention of the pandemic. Harping on those who will be returning from Saudi Arabia and other countries, he said since Saudi Arabia has a record of strict compliance to the safety protocols and not among the amber countries, the returnees would only need to undergo a seven-day selfisolation at their various homes.

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