By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, May 4, 2021 Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, says that about 260,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state.
Abayomi told a ministerial media briefing on Tuesday in Lagos that the figure represented just one per cent of the state’s population.
He said the second phase of vaccination would start soon and warned that Nigeria stood the risk of experiencing a third wave, having vaccinated only less than one per cent of its population.
According to him, health facilities in Lagos State have been placed on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest a third wave of COVID-19.
”Currently, countries like India, Brazil, Argentina, Iraq, Qatar, Peru and Uruguay are being ravaged by a vicious third or fourth wave following a less active and insignificant second or third wave.
”The latest wave in India has been proven to be as a result of new mutant strains that have resulted in a dramatic increase in sickness and deaths for two weeks running.
”Whilst we commiserate with these countries, it is important that we protect our environment and residents against this virus, especially as we have less than one per cent of our population that have received their first dose of the Oxford
Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine similar to India that has about eight per cent,” he said.
The commissioner said that Lagos was working toward ensuring a 60 per cent herd immunity, representing 14 million people to be achieved.
He said that among steps being taken to curb a third wave of the virus included aggressive testing, including mutant PCR testing to identify the particular virus strain.
”It also included the deployment of technology (EKOTELEMED) to track and monitor inbound travellers; enforcing non-pharmaceutial interventions; increase in oxygen supply and vaccination,” he noted.
Abayomi said that of the 123 passengers of interest tracked between April 13 and April 27, 110 (89 per cent) were called by EKOTELEMED, with only 39 per cent reached and tracked.
He said that 66 per cent had Lagos as their final destination, while about 28 per cent filled in no address in Nigeria or filled in a foreign address.
The commissioner further said that the total samples tested so far was 460,647, with 58,222 confirmed positive.
He added that of this number, 168,312 (37 per cent) were tested in public laboratories while 292,335 (63 per cent) were tested in private laboratories.