Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the NCDC disclosed this at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19. He also revealed that they will now be releasing the numbers of tests done weekly.
“With respect to the number of persons that have been tested, so far, we are just around 7,000 but we want to release the numbers and potentially even give a breakdown of what we tested in every lab within the network. We have agreed every Friday by 6pm to announce the number of tests for that week.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire also revealed that the national testing capacity has been increased to 3,000 per day, in 13 molecular laboratories nationwide activated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The national testing capacity has been increased to 3,000 per day in 13 molecular laboratories nationwide activated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The target this week is to significantly increase the national testing capacity further; 2 more laboratories are scheduled to come online in Borno and Sokoto States.
“States have been supplied sample collection kits and are encouraged to develop innovative methods to improve testing capacity such as engaging the private sector to outsource and diversify sample collection sites and improve logistic support.
“This next phase of our strategy, due to the available evidence of community transmission in Nigeria, now focuses on the community. There will be more community testing and social mobilisation at the grassroots to ensure physical distancing and advisories on the use of masks or improvised face coverings like handkerchiefs or scarves over the mouth and nose, to reduce risk of transmission.”
“I shall use this opportunity to again strongly advise health professionals against private or secret management of people who have COVID-19 outside of accredited health facilities. We cannot afford avoidable morbidity and mortality.
“Private facilities must obtain accreditation to treat this highly infectious disease. Practitioners engaging in unauthorised treatment of COVID-19, run the risk of being shut down for decontamination”