Lagos needs foreign molecular biologists – Commissioner

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi covid-19
Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi

Lagos State Government needs molecular biologists and logisticians to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said on Monday.

Prof Abayomi noted that there was nothing wrong soliciting the help of China to help curb coronavirus in Nigeria.

Lagos has 120 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 31 discharged, two evacuated, two dead and 87 active cases.

“It is not a Nigeria COVID-19 outbreak but a global pandemic, there is need for all nations to collaborate, experts from China went to Europe to assist Italy and Spain, these are well developed countries,” he said.

“We are running short of molecular biologists, we will not mind receiving assistance from any country that can give us human resource capacity. An experienced molecular biologists is trained not less than four years.

“I am not aware that we are inviting any doctors from abroad to come and assist us, we are only interested in scientists and molecular biologists and logisticians because 70 per cent of response to COVID-19 is logistics,” he said.

Abayomi appealed to Lagos residents to stop making hoax calls to the coronavirus lines. He said about 31,040 calls, to report suspected and real cases on the dedicated lines to alert on coronavirus had been fake calls.

He stated that these fake calls were 80 per cent of the total calls made on the line, lamenting that these fake calls were blocking the state government from attending to those who really needed help, as they were unable to reach government through the lines.

According to him, only nine per cent of the total calls (3610), were valid.

Abayomi said of the 87 active cases under its care, only two patients require oxygen with none needing ventilation.

He also said if not for proactive efforts from the state government, which made it to put up strategy that included case identification, isolation, contact tracing and community ownership, the positive cases in Lagos would have gone up to 40,000.

He advised that residents must own the process by taking necessary precautionary measures, practice social distancing, wash their hands with soap, report suspected cases, among others.

Abayomi added that if the state should experience 5,000 cases in two weeks, it did not have the capacity to handle it, which was why residents must stay at home and practice social distancing.

He said persons between the ages of 30 and 59 dominated the positive cases Lagos had, a deviation from the statistics from other climes where the elderly recorded more positive cases.

Abayomi said in the coming days, the state government hoped to shift attention to Alimoso Local Government because its statistics showed the community was endangered because of the density and the new positive cases from there in the last one week.