Professor Akin Abayomi, Lagos State
Commissioner for Health, has pointed out that most residents may have been infected with Coronavirus, but do not know.
He said people could be exercising daily and feel generally well, but are secreting and transmitting the virus everywhere they go.
Abayomi stated this on Saturday during a chat on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He noted that the state has moved from imported stage to community transmission stage.
“We’ve moved from the imported stage to the community transmission stage and the virus is now jumping around and it is a highly contagious virus; it spreads very easily,” he said.
“The difference between flu and coronavirus is that if you catch the flu, you will know you have flu. You’ll be terribly unwell, there will be no doubt that you are sick.
“Most people don’t actually know they have coronavirus. About sixty to seventy percent of people have a very mild illness it might just feel as if you had a rough day but you’re secreting the virus and therefore you’re transmitting it.
“And therefore a moderate proportion of people have symptoms and a smaller proportion will have a severe and critical illness. You could have coronavirus and be jogging. That’s mild it could be.”
The commissioner noted that the state is aware of the difference in the social segments of Lagosians, and is working on policies suitable for different strata and parts of the society.
He added: “Every segment of Lagos requires a slightly different strategy. It can’t be the same cap fits all. Someone in Victoria Island doesn’t have the same priority as someone in Makoko for example. What Mr Governor is trying to do is to size up all the respective situations. He gets his situation analysis every day. He debates with his cabinet.
“Livelihood is the priority and COVID-19 is just a threat to livelihood. There are many other threats to livelihood. And so in life, you balance those threats. And that other threat may be hunger or other kinds of sicknesses.
“Lockdown is a component of social distancing and there are many factors to social distancing. What we are trying to do is to reduce the opportunity for the virus to travel from one person to another.
“If seventy percent of Lagosians are in the informal sector, they have no safety net, they live from day-to-day. What they earn is what they eat, it’s not like a higher social-economic segment that has reserves.
“It is important that you allow your imaginations to infiltrate this segment of society and make realistic decisions that don’t disconnect you from these people. You could have a double assault in both ways if you make the wrong kind of decisions.”