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COVID-19: Lagos negotiates with vaccine manufacturers for supply

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Manufacturers

Oba Darasimi

The Lagos government is negotiating with several Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers for the immediate use of its residents, according to the state’s Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN).

Although Onigbanjo did not specify when the state would take the delivery of the vaccines, he said the move to negotiate with vaccine manufacturers became necessary because of rising cases of infections in the state.

The Federal Government had announced it would take the delivery of the first batch of vaccines from manufacturers in January with a further 10m doses expected in the country by March.

However Onigbajo said the state government must heavily augment the FG’s supplies because Lagos is the epicenter of the disease in the country.

Onigbanjo said Lagos leads nationwide in administering COVID- 19 tests.

He said; “It is correct that Lagos State has the highest number of infections and sadly fatalities from COVID-19 in Nigeria. The State Government itself never shied away from admitting that Lagos is indeed the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria. But is it “business-as-usual”? Most certainly not.

“Since the first index patient was confirmed on 27 February 2020, Lagos State Government has led from the front in tackling the pandemic. It was Lagos State who also first introduced; reduced working hours for all sectors of the economy in the State; directed that all its staff between levels 1-14 should work from home; closed all bars, gyms, lounges and cinemas; restricted restaurants to offering take-out services only; and closed worship centres.

“The first lockdown, to contain the pandemic was declared in Lagos on 30 March 2020. The first fully equipped isolation centres sprang up in Lagos. At its peak the State had a total bed space of 600 reserved exclusively for COVID-19 patients. The State also led and still leads nationwide in administering COVID- 19 tests.

“As at date we are testing about 3000 persons a day from 60 public and 20 private Sample collection centres, spread out across 57 Local Government and Central Public Health Labs in the state. Thousands of people have been successfully treated and discharged from our isolation centres and home based care to date.

“When the second wave started, Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (even while just recovering from being infected with the virus) addressed a press conference on 18 December 2020 and shut down, nightclubs, lounges, concerts and bars.

“A plan to construct three oxygen plants was launched and on the 8th of January 2021 the first installed oxygen plant was commissioned at Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba. This is capable of producing 60 large cylinders a day of high grade medical oxygen. The state government is also currently discussing with vaccine manufacturers with a view to making vaccines available to Lagosians,” Onigbanjo concluded.

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