Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, says the “rumour” of shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs) for health workers is not unfounded.
He said this at a press briefing on Sunday, while addressing concerns on the consequences of the shortage of medical supplies needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said PPEs are medical consumables and are important for health workers handling COVID-19 patients, and that with the increase in the number of persons who have tested positive for the virus, there will be a shortage.
Lagos currently has 791 active COVID-19 cases.
“Shortage is not a rumour. If there are no PPEs, there are no PPEs, and the truth about the matter is these are consumables. Even if you buy 10,000, as long as people are using them, as long as people are testing positive, and you’re having a lot more medical personnel on the line, you’ll run short of it,” he said.
“But the question now is how quickly do you ensure that you re-order? These are consumables; it’s like you’re using your masks. They’re one-off use; they’re not for repeated use. So, we’ll continue to buy.
“The thing you need to help us with is to tell a few of our suppliers that this is not the time to profit unnecessarily. These are things that when we started, we bought at N3,000, N4,000, now it’s N15,000, N20,000. People are unduly just taking advantage of it and even when you tell them to go and bring, it’s all stories again.
“So, one of the things we’re looking at is we’re looking inward now to see if we can develop capacity internally and see if our local tailoring companies can be ingenious enough to also solve it and the conversation is going very well, if I dare say.”
He asked Lagosians to endeavour to show concern for COVID-19 patients and to refrain from stigmatising them when they recover and want to return to their communities from the isolation centres.
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