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Monday, 20 April 2020

Lagos Decentralises COVID-19 Testing as Reported Cases Increase

In a bid to curb the continuous spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Lagos State government has created 26 sample centres across the 20 local government areas of the state. This was revealed by Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State commissioner for health, during the COVID-19 media update on Sunday.

According to him, the centres will be used for testing of suspected cases of coronavirus.

The locations of the centres include:  Wright Memorial PHC is the smaple centre for Somolu LGA, Ifako Mini Stadium for Ifako Ijaiye, Ojo PHC for Ojo, and Surulere Local Council secretariat for Surulere LGA, Kosofe LGA has a smaple centre at Ogudu Area Office, Amuwo-Odofin’s sample centre is located at Amuwo-Odofin LGA Secretariat, Ikorodu has two centres at Ita-Elewa PHC and Igbogbo PHC, Lagos Island has at Igaiduganran PHC, Epe (Epe PHC), Lagos Mainland (Simpson PHC) etc.

The commissioner stated that the centres are strictly by appointment and not for emergency calls.

“They are not testing centres, they are sampling centres. If you need the criteria for testing, you will be able to receive the counsel from the staff and your sample will be taken,” Abayomi said.

“We are not just testing anybody but there are criteria for testing. You either have the symptoms to meet the case definition or you have been a very close contact to someone that has been confirmed with COVID-19. Your sample will be taken and it will then be sent to one of our accredited testing facilities and those facilities will then perform the test,” he said.

On burial arrangements for COVID-19 victims. Abayomi says families are entitled to claim their dead if they so wish.

“The protocol for managing death from COVID-19 is that the body is decontaminated and then placed in a special body bag or in tube body bags and placed within a coffin and the coffin is sealed. The family is then given the opportunity to come and collect the body for burial,” he said.

“So family members can carry out the private burial ceremony once we have conducted the proper protocol for decontaminating the body and ensuring that the body is sealed,” he said, adding that there is no existing policy that bans “us from handing the deceased to their family members”.

“It just has to be done in a way that does not expose family members and not break the current law around the number of people to congregate in one place,” he added.

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