…Extends Ban to Social, Night Clubs, Event Centres …Wants Citizens to Abide by Advisory on Social Distancing …Warns Against Indiscriminate Use of Chloroquine …Advise Against Panic Buying …Discharges Index Italian Patient Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has asked the Police and other security agencies to arrest people gathering in large number in violation of
…Extends Ban to Social, Night Clubs, Event Centres
…Wants Citizens to Abide by Advisory on Social Distancing
…Warns Against Indiscriminate Use of Chloroquine
…Advise Against Panic Buying
…Discharges Index Italian Patient
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has asked the Police and other security agencies to arrest people gathering in large number in violation of government’s order. The government had imposed a ban on large religious gathering in excess of 50 persons across to check the spread of COVID-19 otherwise known as Coronavirus.
In a broadcast to the people on Friday, Mr Sanwo-Olu extended the ban on large gathering in to social clubs, night clubs, event centres, among others.
The Lagos helmsman said following the resolution by government and religious leaders to stop large social gatherings, law enforcement officers had been ordered to effect arrest and disperse large gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Governor directed all tertiary institutions in the state to abide by an earlier directive to shut down all public and private schools immediately, and also appealed to operators of bars, night clubs and similar public places to follow the advisory on social distancing.
He said that social distancing remained the best way to curb the spread of COCID-19 in the State.
He added that operators of high capacity buses would be directed to carry only their maximum sitting capacity of 47 passengers and appealed to residents to desist from sharing fake news, and misinformation as this may cause panic.
The Governor also appealed to Lagosians to stop panic-buying of the Chloroquine drug, foodstuff, and other household items.
Mr Sanwo-Olu also confirmed that cases of COVID-19 were eleven in Lagos State, but clarified that the patient infected by the Index patient was free of the virus and had been discharged, while the Index patient himself was now negative and has now been discharged.
Following his recovery, the Governor disclosed that he has been released from the isolation centre of Yaba Mainland Hospital where he was quarantined and treated.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the index case who travel from Milan to Lagos and tested positive on 27th February now tests negative to the virus.
The Governor, who was visibly excited about the recovery of the index patient, said several contact tracing strategies that helped in identifying the Italian’s contacts are being deployed in handling the remaining cases the country is now grappling with. Nigeria has so far confirmed 12 cases of Coronavirus since the pandemic began sending shivers to many parts of the world.
In Sanwo-olu’s words: “As the COVID-19 Incident Commander for Lagos State, I am glad to inform you that the index case the Italian gentleman is now negative.
“Through a combined effort of Lagos State, Ogun State and Federal Health Authorities, we were able to limit the transmission of the virus to a single contact.
“This involved aggressive contact tracing and containment strategies. However, we now have several new imported cases and we hope we can apply the same contact tracing strategy along with social distancing to slow down the outbreak which may be brewing from these new cases.
“The index patient consented to donate one unit of white blood (otherwise called plasma) before he was discharged today. The blood plasma is rich in antibody proteins that target the #COVID19 virus.
“The white blood plasma is frozen in our Bio-bank and will be useful in handling new cases.
“The blood plasma will be beneficial for the treatment of new patients in the absence of a defined therapeutic drug for #COVID19 yet.
“The index patient appreciated the exceptional care and support given to him by the staff of the mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, all members of the EOC / @followlasg.
“The EOC team was extremely happy to bid the patient farewell.
“Once again, we like to convey the enthusiasm of our team to do the very best possible in handling incidents of Coronavirus,” the Lagos Governor said.
Meanwhile, hospitals in Lagos state have started receiving patients suffering from chloroquine poisoning, says Senior Special Assistant on Health to the Lagos State Governor, Dr Oreoluwa Finnih.
She urged people against massive consumption of Chloroquine as a measure to fight Coronavirus.
According to her, there is a lot of unverified information in circulation about the pandemic, and that it was important for people to be sure of their facts before taking any medication.
This development was disclosed by SSA to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media, Gawat Jubril, via his Twitter account.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has also appealed to members of the public to desist from self-medication as no test has certified the drug as a cure for COVID-19.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the production of Chloroquine for clinical trials in the search for a cure for COVID-19.
Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, made the announcement on Friday at the NAFDAC headquarters in Lagos.
She, however, pointed out that NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 but for clinical trials to find treatment for the virus.
“NAFDAC is not approving Chloroquine as a product that has can be used for Coronavirus because there is no submission to us for registration but because it is under clinical trials, NAFDAC approves medicines meant for clinical trials.
“Therefore the medicine is being approved just for the clinical trials,” Adeyeye said.
She, therefore, called on experts and researchers that are interested in doing a clinical trial on Chloroquine to approach approved outlets.
“Right now, we have asked one company to make a batch of Chloroquine for the purpose of clinical trial,” Adeyeye added.
Prof Abayomi disclosed that the Lagos State government will also be conducting clinical trial on the effectiveness of chloroquine in the prevention or management of COVID-19 infection, the Commissioner for Health.
While giving updates on COVID19Lagos, the Commissioner noted that that the clinical trial is initiated against the fast spreading news that chloroquine could be effective in preventing and managing COVID19.
He however said that the use of chloroquine drug, has not yet not been ascertained as an effective treatment of coronavirus disease adding that the State is still watching the global research space to clearly define the efficiency of the drug in the control of the diseases.
“We do not have any hard evidence that chloroquine is effective in preventing or managing COVID19. We are watching the global research space to clearly define its efficiency in COVID19,” he said.
Abayomi noted that chloroquine has significant side effects and should not be used without medical supervision as it may cause more harm than good.
He advised citizens to seek the advice of a physician and await the directive of the Ministry of Health on the use of chloroquine and not use it without medical supervision.
The Commissioner urged the public to not panic but strictly abide by the instructions of the government as it remains committed to the fight against the spread of the virus.
While appealing to citizens not to take advantage of the present situation on COVID19 to hike or hoard domestic consumables and enrich themselves, Abayomi urged members of the public to continue to be their brother’s keeper and join hands with government to curtail the spread of the virus.
“It is condemnable to use this situation to enrich yourselves by hoarding or hiking the prices of domestic consumables for profiteering. We should be responsible citizens in the quest to make Lagos disease free”, he said.
A report by The New Diplomat reveal that Chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, has been used to treat malaria since 1944. Experts say it can be given before exposure to malaria to prevent infection, and it can also be given as treatment afterward.
Malaria is a disease that is caused by a parasite, unlike COVID-19. Nevertheless, laboratory studies show chloroquine is effective at preventing as well as treating the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, a close cousin of COVID-19.
Given chloroquine’s effectiveness in treating SARS, scientists have investigated if it will be an effective treatment against the new coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. So far, the initial trials are encouraging.
“There is evidence that chloroquine is effective when they looked at SARS in vitro with primate cells,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist and internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “The theory of the experiment with primate cells was that chloroquine could be for preventing viral infection or as a treatment for viral infection after it had occurred. In vitro in these primate cells, there was evidence that viral particles were significantly reduced when chloroquine was used.”
Both the virus that causes SARS and the virus responsible for COVID-19 belong to the same overarching family of coronaviruses. Researchers in China discovered that the protein spikes on the surface of the COVID-19 virus are similar to the protein spikes found on the surface of the SARS virus.
People become infected when those protein spikes bind to special receptors on the outside of human cells. Chloroquine works by interfering with those receptors, which may interfere with the virus’s ability to bind to cells.
“The way that it worked against SARS was by preventing of the attachment of the virus to the cells. Chloroquine interfered with the attachment to that receptor on the cell membrane surface,” Horovitz said. “So it’s disrupting a lock and key kind of mechanism of attachment.”
Researchers in China found that treating patients with COVID-19-associated pneumonia with chloroquine may shorten their hospital stay and improve the patient’s outcome.
There are more than 20 ongoing clinical trials in China and more scheduled to start in England, Thailand, South Korea and the United States.