By Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos – The Lagos State Government says it will only conduct COVID-19 test on cases that fall within its defined criteria, and not for individuals who wants to know his or her status to allay fear.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made this known during a Zoom meeting with the Health Correspondents on COVID-19 update on Wednesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by the Nigerian Health Advocates.
Abayomi said that criteria for the test centre around people with COVID-19 symptoms, people that travelled to high-risk countries or people that came in contact with an infected person.
“There are criteria for the test; we do not test for peace of mind, or I just want to know, as being requested by lots of people on the social media,” the commissioner said.
He noted that many people were conducting test using rapid test kits, saying that outcomes of some of the results might be inaccurate.
According to him, government has approved the use of molecular laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) for COVID-19 test.
He said the two centres, asides Mainland Hospital, Yaba, would ensure that outcome of tests were accurate and according to occupational safety of personnel.
The commissioner said that the state had been preparing for any outbreak since 2014.
He added that policies were developed, personnel trained, and infrastructure built because of the peculiar nature of Lagos as an urban city.
Abayomi said that the state government had been running public health advisory, sensitisation campaigns to inform people on the need to self-isolate, practice social distancing, encourage personal hygiene, including handwashing with running water.
Responding to the allegation that government was hiding information from the public, he said that government was being transparent with the situation.
The commissioner explained that information was being released to the public immediately there were new developments.
He said that Lagos, being the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria, was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on containment measures of the virus.