COVID - 19 : No One Is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe - Dr Coker, Ogun Health Commissioner - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, August 5, 2021

COVID - 19 : No One Is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe - Dr Coker, Ogun Health Commissioner

The Commissioner for health Ogun State,  Dr. Tomi Cokera fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and an alumnus of Leadership Training in Healthcare Management at Harvard Business School, USA, explains the situation of things in the State in respect of the third wave of Coronavirus pandemic.

•••Reveals 35 Corps Members In Ogun Tested Positive For COVID - 19


 Honourable Commissioner,  may we know why you've deemed it necessary to talk about COVID - 19 again? 

Due to our observations from our Covid-19 monitoring exercise. the rise in new case and death  trend in the state over the last twelve weeks has become an issue of concern. The third wave of COVID 19 is real, as the evidence is obvious. Since the advent of the delta variants, the number of COVID 19 cases have been on the increase in many countries of the World with Nigeria included. 

What is the situation in respect of Delta variant of COVID - 19? 

The World Health Organization has reported that delta variant has been identified in 135 countries with United Kingdom having the highest number of confirmed cases.  Nigeria Centre for disease Control has also confirmed 32 COVID 19 Delta variants in 5 States Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Oyo and FCT of which Ogun shares borders with two states. The Delta strain has been adjudged to have increased transmissibility and has been linked to a surge in cases in communities where it is the dominant strain in circulation. It has also been reported to result in high death rate.

How about Ogun State? 

Ogun State has continued to record a rise in the number of COVID 19 cases, with a 6 fold increase in admissions into the isolation centre compared to what was recorded 2 months earlier. In the month of June 2021, there were only two cases giving a positivity rate of 0.04%  while the month of July had a sharp rise of 96 cases with positivity rate of 7.4%. The first 3 days in the month of August has also seen a rise in positivity rate of 14.6%Isolation WARD at OOUTH which had only 2 admissions in June currently has 12 persons on admission whilst isolation ward at Ikenne has 35 admissions with 71 on home management.Death rate had remained relatively static at 50 till July 15 after which we recorded 7 deaths in the last two weeks. In the last one week, there has been a sharp rise in new cases from 7 per day  to 16 per day. 

Positivity rate in NYSC Camp? 

The number of NYSC members that have  tested positive is 35. Some are on Home Management Care while some are in the isolation Centre. 

What is the government doing presently to stem the tide of third wave of the virus? 

The State Government through the ministry of Health and other agencies has continued to increase awareness in the communities and we have continued our community testing in five of our hotshot LGAs and secondary facilities namely OOUTH, FMC, Ijaiye, State Hospital Ota and Ijebu Ode. The hotshot LGAs are Abeokuta South, SAGAMU, AdoOdo Ota, Obafemi Owode and  Ikenne. With two molecular laboratory and the use of Rapid diagnostic test kits, we have expanded our diagnostic capacity across the State. The state is collaborating with partners like WHO and researcher for genomic sequencing to map the COVID 19 strains in circulation in our communities.

What could explain the reason for the rising cases? 

It is well known that a lot of citizens have let down their guards on the prescribed non pharmaceutical intervention. We urge all Ogun State residents to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place. We enjoin our community leaders, religious leaders, media houses and other stake holders to join hands with the State Government to encourage strict compliance to correct use of face mask, frequent hand washing and  observance of the 2 meters physical distancing in public places and avoidance of crowded gatherings. The state shall continue to ensure that Organizations who intend to hold large gatherings comply with the non- pharmaceutical measure. 

 What is the vaccination rate in the State? 

 His excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun would like to thank every one for making the phase one covid19 vaccination exercise a huge success with a total of 126,631 vaccinated for the first dose which translated to 136% of our target population for the Phase 1 exercise while 57,453 were vaccinated for the second dose. The foregoing figures represent a very small fraction of our population in Ogun State and to achieve herd immunity in the State we must vaccinate at least 70% of the  population.In order to achieve the above another opportunity has come with the commencement  the 2nd  phase of the vaccination of the vaccination exercise  across the twenty LGAs this month.Let me also  seize this opportunity to encourage everyone 18 and above that is yet to be vaccinated to present themselves in the next round of  vaccination excercise at the nearest vaccination centres. Our observation so far is that all mortalities  are in the unvaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and offers protection against the disease.Please continue to wear your mask properly, wash your hands frequently, observe physical distancing and where possible, avoid a crowd. Please remember no one is safe until everyone is safe. End

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