Lagos Assembly Expresses Dismay Over COVID-19, Waste Management - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Lagos Assembly Expresses Dismay Over COVID-19, Waste Management

LAGOS - The Lagos State House of Assembly is unhappy over a recent viral video showing some street sweepers engaged by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), through some service providers, protesting the non-payment of their salaries.

The lawmakers also expressed concern over the increasing rate at which COVID-19 pandemic is spreading, especially in the state. 

They made these known at the last two plenaries on Monday, July 6 and Thursday, July 9.

The two issues, which bothered the legislators, forced the Assembly to ask Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take proactive measures to contain the pandemic from further spreading. 

The governor was also directed to investigate what led to the protest by the street sweepers.

The lawmakers were bothered by the sudden death of their colleague and Chairman, House Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, Hon. Tunde Buraimoh, who represented Kosofe Constituency 11. 

He passed away last Friday, reportedly due to coronavirus-related infection. The Assembly placed the figures of infected COVID-19 patients in Lagos alone at 11, 670 out of over 32,000 across the country. 

At the time of filing this report, the figure had risen to 12,711. 

The Assembly said it was imperative of the governor and stakeholders in the country to realise that the pandemic has gone beyond what government alone could handle without involving private medical providers.

The lawmakers therefore urged Sanwo-Olu to direct the state’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi to work in collaboration with the state chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to accredit more private hospitals to treat those infected with COVID-19.

The lawmaker representing Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 1, Hakeem Sokunle, in motion 23, 2020 entitled: ‘Need to allow private hospitals participate in the treatment of COVID-19 patients’, acknowledged as well as commended Governor Sanwo-Olu’s efforts in fighting the pandemic since it started over five months ago. He also commended him for having created over seven isolation centres for the treatment of infected patients. 

But Sokunle also lamented that despite all the efforts, the pandemic keeps spreading, with over 12,000 people contracting COVID-19 in the state. 

Sokunle added that private hospitals with the necessary facilities should join forces with government’s health workers to fight the pandemic.

According to him, “Most of the doctors treating the patients are being paid by the state government. NMA once warned their members over treatment of COVID-19 patients. We need to involve private hospitals so that they could support the state government and prevent another lockdown. If the government involves private doctors and members of the state chapter of NMA, and train them, it will be easy to handle.”

He then canvased that doctors in public hospitals should train doctors in private hospitals who would then be certified, adding, “After that, we should screen the hospitals and validate their equipment, certify them and accredit the hospitals. Such hospitals can now admit COVID-19 patients. The government has approved seven private laboratories so far on COVID-19. Once the laboratories start work, we will have a lot of patients hence the need for more hospitals. With this, we will avoid another lockdown to save the economy of the state. It will also encourage private practitioners to join us in the fight against COVID-19.”

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa also said it was important that NMA joins hands with government to reduce the spread of the disease.

He said; “If we leave it to only doctors in government’s hospitals, the disease would spread further. It will spread more among people living in crowded houses and they are more than people living in flats and other self-contain buildings.”

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