Lagos confirms 181 COVID-19 positive cases in private school

Lagos Health Commissioner, Prof. Akin Abayomi

Lagos State Government on Friday confirmed 181 COVID-19 positive cases among students and staff of a private boarding school in Lekki area of the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this, said 181 students and staff members of a private school (name withheld), located in a suburb of Lekki tested positive to COVID19 during surveillance and case investigation in the school.

He said there are 441 students and staff in the school.

The Commissioner said the investigation revealed that a 14-year-old SS1 female student fell ill on October 3 and was sent home after receiving first aid at the school.

“The student subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, October 6 in one of the accredited private laboratories in Lagos.”

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The commissioner, however, assured residents that “the state government, through the incident commands system, has the situation under control. Appropriate steps have been taken to contain the spread and manage the positive cases.”

Prof. Abayomi noted that all parents had been contacted and counselled via a family zoom call on October 13 to further allay their fears and communication between school authorities and parents continues.

The zoom call was attended by the commissioners for Health and Education and all relevant responders and stakeholders.

“There is a total lockdown and movement restriction in the school with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Pillar of the EOC and Ibeju-Lekki LGA State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO) reporting at the school daily to conduct further investigation while positive students and staff have been isolated on the premises and given the COVID-19 home-care treatment packs and are being monitored in isolation within the school premises,” Abayomi said.

He stated that the school authorities supported by the State Ministry of Health and Education are currently following the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the government.

According to him, “Students are to be isolated in the school premises and if unwell will be admitted in one of the accredited isolation centres in Lagos.

He noted that students are discouraged from going home to avoid infecting members of their families. “The Ministry of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Education to jointly manage this minor but significant outbreak in this boarding school.

“I am pleased to announce that all the infected students are predominantly asymptomatic while some have very mild symptoms, no student has required hospitalization,” he said.

“Members of the Emergency Operation Center and our counterparts in the Ministry of Education have been deployed to the school to provide strategic interventions and support to the school.

Abayomi noted that’’ this includes psychosocial support, infection prevention control, medical monitoring and risk communication experts to further enlighten and educate affected people.’’

The commissioner who stressed the need for citizens to practise the highest standard of personal and environmental hygiene and use of face mask in public places, proper handwashing and hand hygiene practice, maintaining physical distance, said compliance would help prevent the spread of the infection. “COVID-19 is still very much with us and we must strive to prioritize the safety of all, including students and teachers, by adhering strictly to prevention protocols and guidelines issued by the government to prevent its spread,” Abayomi said.

He, therefore, urged residents to call the 08000EKOMED or 08000356633 toll-free line if they notice any sign or symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue or loss of taste or smell.

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