‘States should understudy Lagos’


 Moses Emorinken, Abuja

OTHER states need to understudy Lagos State in the handling of the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.

The state has done so well in its public health response and protocols, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 at the Lagos House, Marina, Lagos.

Ehanire said: “Other states are as prepared as can be, but Lagos is, of course, the frontrunner. More than 50 per cent of all the cases of coronavirus in the country are here in Lagos, and because of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), and the fact that most travellers coming into the country come in through Lagos.

“Lagos State has the additional advantage that they did very well in 2014 when they were handling the Ebola case. So, there is a lot of institutional memories, which is left over and helping a lot. I have told the commissioner that as other states begin to develop their public health response and protocols, they will come here and do some studies – maybe one or two weeks of hand-on – to learn the tricks that Lagos has.

“Lagos is very well prepared and other states are trying, but there are only few (COVID-19) cases outside. So, there is no comparison with what is here in Lagos”.

Read Also: Relief materials hijacked at Lagos council

Concerning finding a cure for the virus, especially locally-made cures, Ehanire said: “As to local cure, we look into every assertion. Some people say they have the herbs; some say they have the concoction; but for those who are serious; we have a department in the Ministry of Health, which is the department for traditional complementary and alternative medicine, which will look into their claims.

“We do not throw away any suggestion, but the efficacy and effectiveness of the medicine has to be proven before we can recommend it for people to take. So, those traditional methods of cure are subject to study.

“The coronavirus is new and the medicines that might work against it are not very clear. Different trials are going on in different places.

“The use of convalescent plasma is being tried, which is seeking from people who had coronavirus and have been treated successfully. So, you can take their plasma and see if you can use it for other people who are seriously ill.

“Chloroquine has also been found in some tests to work outside the body what they call in vitro testing, but if you swallow it and take it, whether it really works the same way as it works outside in a test tube, is not very clear.”

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