Lagos State government has expanded its COVID-19 response capacity with the accreditation of seven private laboratories for testing and three private hospitals for treatment and case management of the disease.
The accredited labotories include Total Medical Services, Sylab, 54gene, Mebbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services and Clina Lancent Laboratory.
The private hospitals approved to treat and manage confirmed cases are Palone Memorial Hospital and Verdic Hospital, in addition to First Cardiology Hospital, which had earlier been accredited for this purpose.
The state commissioner for health, Akin Abayomi who disclosed this while updating on the Covid-19 pandemic in Lagos, said the accreditation and validation of private health facilities was to assist in the fight against the virus and further improve its response strategy, testing capacity and management of cases especially in the light of the evolving phase of the outbreak.
He said Lagos remained committed to bringing the outbreak under control, make economic activities continue as best as possible and improve strategies to keep the citizens safe in the face of the threats poses by the pandemic.
“We want to increase our testing capacity even more and one of the tenets of managing this outbreak is to test as many people as possible so that we can employ the principle of isolation. Right now, we are testing between 500 and 800 persons a day and in the next few weeks, we will have established a consortium of laboratories to carry out the test.
“These laboratories have all passed our validation, they have been accredited and we will be adding them to our testing consortium in addition to our already established public laboratories headed by the Lagos State biobank. We are just going through the logistics of having them in the consortium of laboratories and by next week, these laboratories are going to be testing on behalf of government to provide an expanded testing strategy, so that we can get a clearer understanding of the outbreak in Lagos”
He said the government was convinced that they can test using the molecular biology test called PCR test.
He said “as we proceed with the expanded testing strategy, we will be testing between 1000 and 2000 a day when this private laboratories come on stream which will be anytime from nextweek.
Said he, “If we start to get a large numbers of people that are positive, we need another strategy for isolation, this is the reason why we are accrediting private hospitals who are prepared to join the Covid-19 response. So far we have accredited three hospitals and we have got about five more in the pipeline who wants to admit Covid-19 patients and manage Covid-19 cases”.
“At the moment it is illegal to manage COVID-19 cases outside of an accredited facility. As a public, we implore you not to go for test or treatment in a private facility that has not been accredited by government. It is dangerous to that, if you do, you might put yourself and your family members in danger and you might certainly put staff of that facility in danger if they are not practicing according to government laid down standards,” he said.