Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered mass production of locally made masks in a bid to halt spread of Coronavirus.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this on Sunday, saying that Sanwo-Olu had already given instructions that tailors and seamstresses should be commissioned to commence mass production of locally made face masks from a standard design that have been given to them.
He stated that the wearing of the home made mask is just to reduce the amount of droplets that may be produce and aerosolized by the process of coughing and sneezing.
“Tailors and seamstresses are empowered to produce and provide standard home made face mask that the public can gain access to and wear without pulling on the limited stocks of professional face masks that health professional require such that in a couple of weeks, we will be able to mass produce locally made face masks not medical mask”.
He noted that the State is not encouraging the public to go and purchase medical mask because it would deprive the medical community of the medical mask that they required for their professional activity.
He added that the use of face mask for COVID-19 prevention did not protect against the virus infection but rather protect people around an infected person from the an increase amount of aerosol generated from coughing or sneezing.
“There is some theoretical evidence that the wearing of masks may indeed reduce the amount of droplets in the environment from the person that is infected with COVID19 and that is the reason why we are beginning to define the strategy of face masks for the general community”, he said.
Also, he said in order to increase COVID-19 testing capacity in Lagos, the State Government has set up sampling stations in the 20 local government areas of the State where citizens that fit the case definition of COVID-19 can visit to drop samples for testing.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who stated this today at a Press Briefing to give situation report on COVID19 in Lagos, noted that the strategy is geared towards bringing COVID19 testing opportunity closer to the people.
He added that the idea is also aimed at taking work strain off health workers that visit several local government for case search and sample collection.
Abayomi stressed that the new arrangement would provide opportunity for people at the local government with symptoms of COVID19 to present themselves early for testing.
“We have decentralized the locations where you can have yourself submitted for sampling. So what we’ve done is to move sampling stations to the local government. And if you feel that you have any of the symptoms associated with COVID19, you can present yourself to this decentralized sampling stations.
“They are not testing stations, they are sampling stations and If you meet the criteria for testing, you will be able to receive the counsel of the staff and your sample will be taken,” he said.
“We are not just testing anybody, there is a criteria for testing; you either must have COVID19 symptoms to meet the case definition or be in close contact with somebody that have been confirmed with COVID19. Your samples would be taken and it would then be sent to one of our accredited testing facilities and those facilities will then perform the tests”, the Commissioner explained.
He added that the strategy would help the COVID-19 response team get a better idea of what is going in the community and also make the diagnosis of COVID-19 early at the local government level.