Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi says the state government may have to impose another round of lockdown if there is a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed this in a Tuesday statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs of the Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.
In the statement titled, ‘Lagos calls for precautions against second wave of COVID-19’, the commissioner warned residents to continue to adhere strictly to all COVID-19 guidelines.
Abayomi noted that other countries have been compelled to impose a second round of lockdown and restriction of movements, with attendant significant socio-economic and security consequences.
He warned that “the continuous flagrant disregard of safety guidelines by citizens heralds’ danger and may lead to a second wave of new infections in Lagos”.
The statement read, “The Lagos State Government has once again stressed the need for residents to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against COVID-19 infection transmission to prevent a recurrence of the situation that led to the lockdown of the economy.
“A resurgence of cases in Lagos may lead to the reversal of the strategically calculated measures put in place by the Government to open up the economy.
“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 the 27th of February 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 it was important to shun unnecessary movements and gatherings “unless it is absolutely necessary stressing that travelling into and outside the Country should be discouraged except when absolutely necessary”.
According to the commissioner, “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 amongst the citizens causing many to abandon the use of face masks and other safety measures and protocols put in place by the Government.
“Though we have reached our peak as predicted and are now experiencing a decline in the number of positive cases, this is not a reason to conclude that all 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.
“The reason for the decline in COVID-19 cases in Lagos is attributable to a number of factors, including public adherence to safety regulations of physical and social distancing, hand hygiene, use of face mask in public places, expanded testing strategy and contact tracing, among others, and 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.”