Professor Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner for Health says demand for oxygen by coronavirus patients in the state has slightly increased.

As a result of the development, Abayomi said the state of government is intensifying efforts to make oxygen available for the patients.

The commissioner made this known on Friday, July 3, 2020, at a Zoom webinar by the Lagos Civil Society against COVID-19.

Speaking during the session, Abayomi said once patients who need oxygen get treatment and become stable, they’ll be moved into isolation centres.

He said, “We noticed that there is a slight increase in the demand for oxygen. Patients are coming in with breathlessness and sometimes they present (themselves) to other hospitals in need of oxygen.

“So, we are trying to make oxygen available across the local government areas so patients can get oxygen treatment to be stabilised. Once they are stable, they can now be moved into isolation centres and get more medical treatment and hopefully, we can rescue them from getting into a more critical stage where we may now need to consider ventilating.

“We’d rather not ventilate. There are about five levels of oxygen therapy before we get to the ventilation stage and if we can use those levels and avoid ventilating patients, we’ll rather go down that route. But that depends on getting the patient early enough.”

The commissioner advised Lagosians to always go for testing early if they noticed COVID-19 symptoms before their conditions escalate to the critical stage.

He said, “If they are feeling unwell, they should not automatically think it is malaria or typhoid or anything else. If they are feeling unwell and there is a fever, body pains, cough and signs of breathlessness or exhaustion, then it’s important to get tested for COVID-19 and assess their respiratory function so they can be admitted to an isolation centre early enough to prevent getting into a severe or critical state.”

Abayomi further said the state government currently tests about 1,000 people a day and hopes to attain 4000 per day.