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Lagos Confirms COVID-19 Infection In Secondary School

Lagos State Government has confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in a secondary boarding school on the mainland. In a release issued on Friday by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, a member of the school’s staff was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on the 2nd of November and contact tracing revealed that a student and four contacts of the affected staff are also positive for COVID-19. The Commissioner stated that the individual fell ill for a few days and received first aid at the school clinic and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday 2nd of November at the Lagos State Biobank. He explained that the State COVID-19 Incident Command System through the Emergency Operation Centre is investigating the incident, assuring members of the public and stakeholders of the school that the situation is completely under control. According to him, “Steps are being taken to contain the spread within the school and reduce exposure to the outside community. All parents are being contacted first through the PTA and a family zoom call is being arranged to further allay their fears”. “It is important to note that COVID-19 presents with very mild symptoms in children and teenagers, compared to other age groups. However, there is the risk of infected children transmitting the disease to adults who they interact with daily, and who may be at higher risk of severe disease and death”, he added. Abayomi averred that the school authorities, supported by Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Ministry of Education, are following the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the government, noting that students who test positive are to be isolated in the school premises and, if unwell, will be admitted in one of the accredited isolation centres in Lagos. He discouraged infected persons, who are predominantly asymptomatic while some have mild symptoms, from going home to avoid infecting members of their families, stressing that the State Ministry of Health and NCDC are working closely with the Ministry of Education through a joint approach to manage the outbreak in this school. The Commissioner disclosed that members of the Emergency Operation Centre Lagos, NCDC and counterparts in the Ministry of Education have been deployed to the school to provide strategic interventions and support, including psychosocial support, infection prevention control, medical monitoring and risk communication experts to further enlighten affected people. He said, “COVID-19 is still very much with us and we must strive to prioritise the safety of all, including students and teachers, by adhering strictly to prevention protocols and guidelines issued by the government to prevent its spread”. “Lagosians should continue to observe and practise the highest standards of personal and environmental hygiene. Using face masks in public places, hand washing and hand hygiene practice, and maintaining physical distancing will help prevent the spread of the infection”, Prof. Abayomi asserted. He, therefore, advised the citizens 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 and smell.

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