The disclosure last week by the Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, that plans are in top gear by the state government to construct a purpose built International Infectious Disease Research Centre at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba is quite laudable. It is, indeed, a good initiative at tackling the ravaging coronavirus pandemic as well as other infectious diseases in post-Covid-19 era.
Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this at the official launch of the 150-bed Mainland Infectious Disease Isolation Centre donated by Private Sector Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) to Lagos state for Covid-19 response, added that the state government would also erect a purpose built Doctors’ Quarters and permanent isolation wards to ramp up capacity for any infectious disease outbreak in Lagos as part of the global master plan for the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.
He said: “Our Infectious Disease hospital is seeing a lot of brand new things coming up and we are committed that this hospital post-Covid-19 would see a purpose built international infectious disease research center; the designs are out already. We will also be building purpose built isolation wards, we will ramp up our infrastructure and capacity and not wait for a pandemic to come on us again. We will be building doctors’ quarters in this facility as part of our global plan for the Yaba Infectious Disease Hospital.”
While commending CACOVID for donating the state-of-art 150-bed Isolation centre to Lagos for Covid-19 response, Sanwo-Olu noted that the facility will certainly add to the state capacity and enable it to do a lot more in the war against Covid-19. “This is the sixth or the seventh dedicated isolation centre that we have. Several other facilities we are using for quarantine and holding bay but this is the sixth or seventh structured isolation centre. I want to on behalf of the people and government of Lagos state commend the coalition for this facility”.
Sanwo-Olu, however, noted that beyond putting up an isolation facility for Covid-19 case management, it is important for citizens to understand that they need to take responsibility against the pandemic. “It is not a function of how many isolation beds that are built but a case of ourselves taking responsibility, understanding that this virus knows no race, colour or age. Indeed, we need to take responsibility because of our loved ones. Covid-19 is real and we owe it a duty to tell our people to be very cautious and take precautionary measures and ensure that it is only when we do all of these things that this pandemic can be defeated.
“When we say that if you feel unwell and you’ve been tested that you isolate yourself even if you don’t have severe symptoms, it is really so that you can protect your loved ones and the vulnerable in your family and vulnerable in the society so that we can slow down the morbidity and fatality that might come out from a raging pandemic such as this. That is why we cannot lose this opportunity to reiterate the importance of wearing your face mask at all times, practicing hand hygiene and physical distancing”, the governor stated.
Earlier in his remarks, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, explained that the 150-bed isolation facility has a fully contained PCR laboratory, a routine laboratory, a bouquet of administrative and ancillary facilities, a water treatment plant, a waste management system and three power generators for case management. “Today, we are opening the sixth of our isolation centres in Lagos specifically committed to Covid-19. This isolation centre is donated by a consortium known as CACOVID and we have been working together now for almost four months to design, to build and to complete this fabulous structure, which is going to add 150 more isolation beds to our central isolation capacity”.
“This is an extension of facilities at the main infectious disease hospital at Yaba where we have about 120 isolation beds and a well established intensive care unit (ICU) for patients with severe to critical cases. The donated facility by CACOVID will serve as an additional 150 beds for us to manage the more moderate to severe cases of Covid-19 and if any of them needs intensive care, they would be moved across to our ICU”, Abayomi said.
In his remarks the Managing Director Access Bank , Herbert Wigwe, commended the state government and the governor for the timely and good response against the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that a lot has been done by Lagos state in its response against the disease that deserves commendation. “We are proud to have worked very closely with a very strong team to set up what is a model state-of-the-art isolation centre here in Lagos.
Blueprint commends the Lagos state government for the giant stride in the provision of the world class health facility and urge other state governors to emulate the responsive gesture which will save the country the humongous amount of foreign exchange spent on medical tourism by Nigerians. We are of the opinion that by this initiative the Sanwo-Olu government has demonstrated that states have the onerous duty to complement the federal government in the task of nation building and delivering the dividend of democracy to Nigerians.