Two direct telephone lines set up for reporting of Coronavirus cases in Lagos State on Wednesday morning were switched off, The PUNCH has learnt.
Going by international standards, emergency lines are supposed to be active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But the two lines tweeted by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, were switched off on Thursday morning when our correspondent called the lines.
Abayomi through his verified Twitter handle (@ProfAkinAbayomi) tweeted the two numbers as a response to a complaint by a user, Ogene Augustina (@sleekybentley89), who said her husband, who just came back from Spain, was feeling unwell.
Augustina complained that the emergency lines were not available.
Responding, Abayomi tweeted, “Please call these numbers 08145064452, 08148940990 immediately.”
When our correspondent called the first line (08145064452) at 10.36 a.m. on Thursday, it was switched off. Repeated attempts were not different as it remained switched off.
Our correspondent also tried the second line (08148940990) at 10:40 a.m. but it was also switched off, confirming Augustina’s frustration that the lines were not available.
Of the 12 COVID-19 cases recorded in Nigeria so far, Lagos has 11 confirmed cases and a few suspected cases.
The eighth case was recorded in Ekiti State on Wednesday.
The Ekiti State Government had said its first index case was in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital for two weeks before moving to Ado Ekiti on March 13.
The three Coronavirus helplines (08073431342, 08023229267, 08038210122) released by the Oyo State Ministry of Health all went through when our correspondent put a call to them at 10.58 a.m.; 11.00 a.m. and 11.02 a.m. respectively on Thursday.
However, two of the three emergency helplines released by the Ekiti State Government were switched off when our correspondent called them on Thursday.
09062970434 called at 12.02 p.m. was active while 09062970435 and 09062970436 tried at 12.07 p.m. and 12.08 p.m. respectively were unreachable.
Our correspondent also tried the Ogun State Government emergency lines and both were active. 08188978393 tried at 01.28 p.m. and 08188978392 tried at 01.30 p.m. were active.
Our correspondent repeated the calls to all the lines and there were no changes as of the time of filing this report.
… to alert the authorities of any suspected case by calling the 112 Emergency Number or 09062970434, 09062970435, 09062970436.#CoronaVirusNigeria
— Government of Ekiti State (@ekitistategov) March 18, 2020
Department of Public Health
Oyo State Ministry of Health
— Oyo State Ministry Of Health (@OyoStateMOH) March 18, 2020
He added that suspected cases should be reported at the nearest Primary Healthcare Centre (PHCs) in all the 236 wards in the State or the Emergency Operations Centre on COVID-19 by telephone on 08188978393 or 08188978392
— Ogun State Government – OGSG (@OGSGofficial) March 19, 2020