The Lagos State government is working towards bringing another oxygen plant on stream within the next one week as demand for oxygen by coronavirus patients grows to 400 cylinders per day.
The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed this on Sunday while giving an update on the management of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state by his administration.
“Considering that the demand for oxygen by cCOVID-19 patients has spiked to between 300 and 400 cylinders per day across state-owned treatment facilities, the government is working hard to ensure availability.
“To this end, a second oxygen plant is under construction at the Gbagada General Hospital and will come on-stream within the next seven days.
“It is expected that the new plants will boost the in-house capacity and availability of oxygen across all state government-managed COVID-19 treatment centres,” the governor said.
Restating that the supply of oxygen to COVID-19 patients was still free in all Lagos State-owned COVID-19 treatment centres, the governor however said government was planning to transform the state-owned isolation centre in Gbagada into a fee-paying facility for people who would want to be treated privately.
He said that the decision was informed by the growing clamour by patients and families who were willing to pay for COVID-19 treatment so as to protect their privacy.
The governor however assured that the state government would make it such that the services are provided at a cost that was lower than what was currently obtainable at private facilities across the state.
“This arrangement means that the COVID treatment facility in Yaba will continue to offer free services and high-quality treatment to all persons.
“But Gbagada centre will offer treatment at a moderated and affordable cost to those who wish to take advantage of extra offerings like private treatment rooms and more personalized levels of care,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
Also, the governor said the government established a telemedicine service called, EKOTELEMED, for patients who were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms that did not require admission in the treatment centres and could, therefore, be managed in the comfort of their homes.
The governor said that EKOTELEMED was manned by well-trained medical personnel and is available on a toll-free line, 08000EKOMED (08000356633).
He encouraged as many people as possible, whose cases fell in the asymptomatic or mild category, to take advantage of the EKOTELEMED service.
So far, the governor said about 5,000 patients have been reached through EKOTELEMED, with more than a thousand care packs delivered to patients in the home-based care programme.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it recorded about 685 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 131,242.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle late on Sunday.
The number of new cases is the least the NCDC has reported in recent times, with about eight coronavirus-related deaths as at Sunday, taking the country’s death toll as a result of COVID-19 to 1.586.
The NCDC said the the new cases were reported across 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory FCT.
Details showed that Lagos recorded the highest number of new cases with 355 infections, while Kaduna, Nasarawa and Kano confirmed 58, 46 and 40 new cases respectively.
Other states with new cases were Akwa Ibom-33, Katsina-26, Ogun-25, Osun-21, Rivers-16, Edo-15, Oyo-13, Ondo-12, Borno-11, Ekiti-nine, Kebbi-three and Plateau-two.
The centre, however,said the number of recoveries currently stands at 104,989, with additional 1,277 patients discharged across the country 24 hours before Sunday.
Besides, about 901 and 123 community recoveries managed in line with COVID-19 guidelines were recorded in Lagos and Plateau states respectively. (NAN)