Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stated that the state government is targeting having a capacity of 1000 oxygen cylinders daily as severe COVID-19 patients in the state currently utilise 400 oxygen cylinders per day since the outbreak of the third wave.
Sanwo-Olu made the revelation on Monday, August 23, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a news conference explaining the state’s management of the new wave of COVID-19.
He said that the 400 oxygen cylinders daily was an increase over the 75 cylinders utilised by severe COVID-19 cases, as at the beginning of the third wave of the virus.
Sanwo-Olu said the state government had invested in strengthening the capacity of the Lagos State BioBank to sequence positive cases while increasing the state’s oxygen capacity.
“Sequencing allows us to identify the predominant strains of the COVID-19 virus in our environment and provides us with information on how to better respond to the pandemic.
“In terms of treatment of the more severe cases, let me say a few things specifically about the use of oxygen, which is a vital requirement for the management of the most severe cases.
“We have indeed seen a gradual increase in the uptake of oxygen during this pandemic, from the utilisation of 75 cylinders per day at the beginning of this third wave, to over 400 cylinders per day, currently.
“With our modelling suggesting that we may be requiring even more oxygen supply over the next few weeks, we are exploring several ways of increasing our oxygen capacity, including partnering with the private sector,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu revealed the state had two functioning oxygen plants, at the IDH in Yaba and in Gbagada, adding that the government was looking forward to taking delivery of two additional oxygen plants being built in Lagos State by the Federal Government.
“It is important to note that oxygen supply is free at all public facilities designated for the treatment of COVID-19 in Lagos State.
“We encourage members of the public to report any of our staff soliciting fees for the provision of oxygen, to the office of the Honourable Commissioner for Health, and be assured that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
“Managing a pandemic of this nature and scale is not and will never be an easy endeavour.
“It is costly and requires hard work and commitment from a wide range of stakeholders and partners, sacrificing their time and energy and resources on multiple fronts to slow down the virus, and eventually to tame it,” the governor added.