Nigeria now has capacity for 10,000 daily COVID-19 tests – NCDC

Nigeria now has capacity for 10,000 daily COVID-19 tests - NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday said that the country’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) daily test capacity is 10,000 per day across the country.

Dr ChIkwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing on Thursday in Abuja. 

Ihekweazu said that at the moment, the Nigeria Public Health Institutes were doing about 2,000 tests daily.

He said the laboratories were working at about 20 per cent capacity at the moment. 

He called on state governments to bring samples for testing. 

Meanwhile, he said there was no global collaboration to deceive people about COVID-19, emphasising that “it is real”.

Ihekweazu said it was sometimes difficult to know when someone contracted the virus and there were people behind those numbers of the COVID-19 cases.

“As we’ve eased the restrictions and continue to increase testing capacity, it’s likely we’ll see an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Whether that increase continues or not will depend on our collective action,” he said. 

READ ALSO: COVID-19: NCDC confirms 17 new deaths, as Nigeria’s total infections hit 13,873

The director-general said that contact tracing was currently receiving global attention.

He noted that it had been a key strategy in response to infectious disease outbreaks in the country.

According to him, in response to COVID-19, state public health officers have played a critical role in contact tracing. 

The director-general said that a major challenge in contact tracing in response to COVID-19 was stigma, and it was difficult in states with high number of cases. 

He however encouraged states to adopt diverse means of engaging the public, especially through religious leaders and traditional rulers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agency had activated three additional laboratories in the country, bringing the total number of laboratories that could carry out PCR testing for COVID-19 in Nigeria to 33.

The health agency said it had stayed on track in its goal to rapidly scale up laboratory testing for coronavirus in Nigeria.

The three new laboratories are Biorepository and Clinical Virology Laboratory UCH, Ibadan, Oyo; Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Infectious Disease Unit, General Hospital, Ituk Mkpang, Akwa-Ibom; and Jigawa State Molecular Laboratory, Dutse.

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