LASG warns residents against the use of chloroquine until drug is tested

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…Orders police to arrest people gathering in large numbers

Lagos state government on Friday advised Lagosians not to resort to taking chloroquine as prevention or cure for coronavirus.

Speaking on the use of chloroquine which the President of the United States, Donald Trump is reported to have said is a possible cure for coronavirus, the state commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi said Lagosians should not take it except prescribed by physicians.

He advised against self-medication and assured that the state would carry out its own test on chloroquine next week to determine its effectiveness as a cure for coronavirus.

Abayomi, warned residents to avoid consumption of chloroquine without prescription noting that it could cause more harm than good in their system.

The chief incident commander, Governor Sanwo-Olu during a live broadcast at the Lagos House, Marina also cautioned residents against panic-buying of the Chloroquine drug, foodstuff, and other household items.

He reassured residents that the State is extremely prepared to prevent the spread of Corvid-19 urging them to play their part by following laid down precautionary measures, including social distancing.

He said though Lagos has been the epicenter of the outbreak because it is home to the country’s busiest airport, “But we are also extremely prepared and capable of containing the threat that the Coronavirus represents. Our bio-secure isolation facility at the Mainland Infectious Diseases Hospital, Yaba is equipped and able to contain the disease.

Sanwo-Olu directed all tertiary institutions in the State to shut down immediately and appealed to operators of bars, night clubs and similar public places to follow the advisory on social distancing

Earlier in the week, all public and primary schools in Lagos had been directed to shut down from Monday next week.

Sanwo-Olu announced that following the resolution by government and religious leaders to stop large social gatherings, law enforcement officers have been ordered to effect arrest and dispersal of large gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.

The governor also extended the ban on large gathering in excess of 50 people to social clubs, night clubs, event centres, among others.

He acknowledged that confirmed cases of Corvid-19 is eleven in Lagos State, but clarified that the patient infected by the Index patient is free of the virus and has been discharged, while the Index patient himself is now negative and would be discharged any moment from now.

The Governor said operators of high capacity buses would be directed to carry only their maximum sitting capacity of 47 passengers only and appealed to residents to desist from sharing fake news, and misinformation as this may cause panic.

“You will all agree with me that these times call for us all to act responsibly and abstain from all large outings or gatherings of any kind, be they academic, family, professional, political, religious or social.

“To protect and save lives, law enforcement agencies, especially the Police, have been directed to enforce compliance with the directive against any assemblage of a large number of people at any location.

“Lagosians should, in the interest of all of us, ensure regular observance of all preventive measures being widely circulated by the Federal and State Ministries of Health.

“These measures include the following:
Residents should observe high standards of personal hygiene, and practice social distancing. If you feel sick, consult a doctor and stay indoors. If you have just returned from any of the countries with COVID-19 cases, you should isolate yourself for at least 14days.

“Everyone should be vigilant and report suspected cases of the disease to the nearest medical facility. The telephone number provided by the Ministry of Health, 08000CORONA, is available round-the-clock.

The governor said Central Bank of Nigeria has announced a stimulus package that will open up new credit lines to the businesses and sectors most affected by the Coronavirus. “We expect that Lagos State, as the economic hub of Nigeria, will benefit significantly from these interventions.

“Under the auspices of the National Economic Council, at which I represent Lagos State, we have established a Special Committee that is working with the Federal Government to design a coordinated national economic response that fully addresses the social and economic implications of the Coronavirus disease.

Sandwich-Olu enjoined all Lagosians to cooperate with the government as it fight the pandemic,adding that there is no need to panic.

“I equally urge all Lagosians to please desist from creating or sharing fake news and misinformation regarding this disease. At times like this there will be a lot of false, misleading and unverified information circulating, especially on our phones. These pieces of information are often designed to cause panic, and end up doing more harm than good, to the society at large.

“We all have important roles to play by not disseminating or amplifying these messages. We must pay attention only to genuine information as disseminated by the relevant Federal and State Government authorities.

“Let me again reiterate that the Lagos State Government is fully ready and capable of containing this threat”, Sandwich-Olu assured.

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