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500 COVID-19 deaths recorded at Lagos isolation centres, says ministry

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[FILE] COVID-19 patients suffering from acute respiratory challenge lies on hospital bed at a male ward in Lagos State Isolation Centre, Yaba, Lagos . PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP


• Korea seeks global partnership on pandemic, spends $2b in Africa
• Minister wants increased surveillance against drug abuse

The Lagos State Ministry of Health has said more than 500 deaths were recorded in isolation centres across the state. Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, ‘Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, made this known in a press statement, yesterday, titled, ‘COVID third wave mitigation: Lagos to sanction erring inbound passengers’.

Ogunbanwo explained that inbound travellers contributed to the increasing fatalities. Though he said over 500 had been recorded, data on the website of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that Lagos recorded 47 deaths as of August 21.

Part of the statement reads, “The COVID-19 Third Wave that Lagos and other parts of Nigeria are experiencing is as a direct result of the importation of cases from other countries where the pandemic is very active.

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“This is why travel guidelines are so important in minimising the impact on our citizens and economy. Lagos State Government has observed a disturbing trend of false accusations by some defaulting international travellers about the implementation of COVID travel protocols as laid down by the Federal Government, especially around inbound travellers from red-listed countries like South Africa, India, Brazil, and Turkey.”

“Since the commencement of the isolation of passengers from the red-listed countries, the Lagos State response has successfully quarantined 4,448 passengers as of the August 19, 2021 and identified 58 Persons of Interest (POIs) who tested positive to the COVID-19 virus, despite a negative test on arrival; and would have hitherto contributed to the ongoing third wave, which has claimed over 500 deaths recorded at our isolation centres.”

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This was as the First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, Choi Jong Kun, insisted that finding solution to the raging coronavirus pandemic does not lie with a few countries but requires global collaboration and partnership.

Kun, who disclosed this during a parley with the media after his diplomatic shuttle to Nigeria, revealed that Korea has provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medicines worth $2 billion to African countries to boost global safety.
meanwhile, Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has stressed the need for improved surveillance to reduce access to unlicensed prescription medicines such as Tramadol and Codeine. He stated that the menace of drug abuse in the country has reached epidemic proportion and requires concerted efforts.

Speaking on the dangers of non-medical use of opioid pharmaceuticals and other substances of abuse at the weekend in Abuja, the minister said drug trafficking and use are not only a threat to security, governance and development of a nation but also to the health of its citizenry.

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