THE Lagos State Government has clarified what it spends on the treatment of Coronavirus patients in various isolation centres in the state.
The clarification followed the misgivings that have trailed a disclosure made by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, on the amount the state government spends on the treatment of Covid-19 patients in critical conditions, which a section of the media sensationally put at N1million per day.
A statement released by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, on Friday said that factual account of what Prof. Abayomi said was sacrificed for sensational reporting by some news outlets.
The statement reads: “Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, addressed a press conference at which he spoke on several facets of the state’s response to Covid-19. After the conference, he took questions.
“It has become evident from the subsequent reporting of the Honourable Commissioner’s comments and answers that there are misunderstandings that require clarification and correction.
“The areas that were insufficiently appreciated and incorrectly portrayed by some members of the press are the perceived inefficiencies in testing and reporting protocols and the cost of caring for patients in our isolation centres.
“On testing protocols, the number of tests being conducted presently, when compared to what we did in the early stages of the pandemic, has shown incredibly significant growth.
“Alongside, that has come with certain challenges. We are not where we want to be, but it would be unfair not to acknowledge the tremendous progress that has been made by the State.
“With rapid growth are some glitches, which we recognise and are striving to overcome.”
Omotoso explained further that the state government is refining and improving its testing protocols, noting that the challenges have been identified and are being addressed.
“On cost of care, the Honourable Commissioner (Abayomi), in the interest of transparency, offered a window onto the economics of COVID-19 care and, regrettably, some reporters misunderstood his comments.
“While we commend the role of the press in probing into the application of public funds, we look up to them to be balanced and accurate their reporting.
“It is clear that N1,000,000 sounds more sensational than N100,000, but we must not allow sincerity to be sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism.
‘What the Honourable Commissioner sought to communicate was the range of symptom manifestations of the Coronavirus – from mild and moderate to severe and critical.
“He explained that the cost of treating these manifestations vary, considerably.”