A health official in Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos, has announced that 181 students and a member of staff contracted the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a private school in Lagos.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement on Friday, said the new cases were found at a private boarding school in Lekki area of the state.
Abayomi said that the cases were detected during COVID-19 surveillance and case investigation in the school, adding that there were 441 students and staff in the school.
“I am pleased to announce that all the infected students are predominantly asymptomatic, while some have very mild symptoms, no student has required hospitalisation,” he said.
The commissioner explained that a 14-year-old SS1 female student fell ill on Oct. 3 and was sent home after receiving first aid at the school.
He added that the student subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 6 in one of the accredited private labs in Lagos.
The commissioner assured residents that the state government, through the incident command system, has the situation under control.
He added that appropriate steps had been taken to contain the spread and manage the positive cases.
According to him, all parents have been contacted and counselled through a zoom call on Oct. 13 to further allay their fears, adding that communication between the school authority and parents continues.
He disclosed that the zoom meeting was attended by the commissioners for Health and Education, 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.
“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.
The commissioner said that the school authorities supported by the state Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are following the COVID-19 guidelines as set out by the government.
“Students are to be isolated in the School premises and if unwell will be admitted in one of the accredited isolation centres in Lagos.
“Students are discouraged from going home to avoid infecting members of their families,” he said.
Abayomi noted that members of the Emergency Operation Centre and counterparts in the Ministry of Education have been deployed to the school to provide strategic interventions and support to the school.
He added that the support include psychosocial support, infection prevention control, medical monitoring and risk communication experts to further enlighten and educate the affected people.
The commissioner advised residents to maintain personal and environmental hygiene, stressing that use of face mask, proper hand washing and maintaining physical distance would help prevent the spread of the infection.
“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,” Abayomi said.
He 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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