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Lagos hit more by ‘extremely aggressive’ second wave of COVID-19

A lack of testing gives a false impression that Covid-19 is on the decline in Lagos, arguably Nigeria’s most populous city with an estimated 21 million people.

Reported infections neared 1000 a day, deaths shooting up, and the state accounts for the highest number in the country in total recorded cases.

From January 1 to 8 the state reported 4,687 cases. Lagos has seen increasing cases over the last week with new variant thought to be driving the surge and this second wave of infections hitting the state is “extremely aggressive” and stronger than the first. New variants of the virus are behind the faster spread, as more people are dying and health officers testing positive.

Since January, Lagos has recorded the fastest rise in new cases in the country. Positivity rate is 13.5 percent and 34,875 cases, according to figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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“It seems like it’s affecting a younger age group. When you catch this Covid it can cause respiratory failure faster than the first wave and we do not want people to die. We want to be able to admit people. The Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) is almost full, but we have more capacity outside and other isolation centres. So Lagos has excess capacity,” said Akin Abayomi, commissioner for health, Lagos State.

Lagos, which was reporting 157 new infections at a previous peak in July, is now recording over 700 new cases every day. Still, Nigeria has so far recorded about 1,342 confirmed deaths and 97,478 cases.

The rise has largely been driven by Lagos, where a new, more infectious variant of Covid-19 is spreading fast and an influx of patients has left isolation centres struggling for beds without oxygen and deaths has left many families and friends disheartened.

Abayomi said the second wave is due to reopening of schools, general laxity, a false sense of security and non-adherence to guidelines; opening of the economy, variant, large religious congregation and social gathering and entertainment.

Currently, Lagos has 21 accredited private and four public health laboratories.

“Lagos State had increased its testing capacity per pay (August-December 2020). The state is now testing between 2,000 and 3,000 per day. In the public laboratories about 128,519 samples have been processed which is equivalent to 55 percent and the private laboratories, 230,000 samples processed, that’s 45 percent,” he said.

Data representations in the samples collected at the collection sites revealed that EtiOsa local government area has about 27 percent; Ajeromi, 26 percent; Surulere, 26 percent; Amuwo-odofin, 25 percent; Mushin, 25 percent;, Apapa, 20 percent; Agege, 20 percent; Ibeju- Lekki, 19 percent; Oshodi-isolo, 19 percent; LagosIsland, 18 percent; Kosofe, 18 percent; Alimosho, 17 percent; Ifako- Ijaye, 16 percent; Lagos-mainland, 16 percent; Epe, 15 percent; Badagry, 14 percent; Ikeja, 13 percent; Ojo, 12 percent; Somolu, 12 percent; Ikorodu,11 percent, and inbound travelers, 4 percent.

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