COVID-19: Repetitive, continuous communication, key to fighting Pandemic – Abayomi

 Lagos Sate Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said repetitive and continuous  communication are key to responding to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Abayomi said this at the ongoing National Summit on COVID-19 organised by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 in Abuja with the theme: “End the Pandemic and Build Back Better”.

Abayomi said  Lagos state understood the need to communicate with the residents of Lagos regularly, adding that the state was proactive with information dissemination and honest with its situation report.

He said that the state also had better management for mild cases including a home-based  care.

“It became clear that we shouldn’t isolate all the confirmed cases of COVID-19, so we adopted our isolation strategy to include Telemedicine-driven home-based care programme,” he said.

Abayomi said that drivers of COVID-19 waves in the state included arrivals, the volume of inbound passengers coming to Lagos state for Christmas and New year festivities and low vaccination.

He said that Lagos state had only vaccinated about 2.8 per cent of its population, leaving it susceptible to a forth wave.

“New variant, the newly-discovered variant of concern, Omicron, makes the world susceptible to a forth wave.

”Social gathering, highly anticipated social activities in December could lead to super spreader of events,” he said.

The health commissioner said that the state also deployed strategies to keep its economy open.

He said that in the response to the pandemic, the state announced guidelines and promugated laws: Lagos state Infections Disease Regulation 2020 and Lagos State COVID-19, 2021.

“However, several individuals and organisations refused to abide by the guidelines and laws.

”These individuals and organisations have constituted themselves into public health risks to the citizen of the state and have also breached the law governing the manageent of the pandemic in the state,” he said.

Abayomi said that following the prosecutions of defaulters of the COVID-19 guidelines in the state, several meetings were held with  relevant stakeholders.

He said it was concluded that bringing those individuals to justice would strengthen the state and would also reduce the number of cases of the virus.

Abayomi said the administration would discourage individuals from constituting themselves into a public health hazard by spreading the virus.

He said the state’s strategies to overcome vaccine hesitancy included having mandatory approach to vaccination policies, campaign to involve public and private providers and going into communities to vaccinate members of the public.

NAN reports that the summit is an assemblage of key actors in the health,  economic, security, and policy-making sectors of the country. (NAN)