Nigeria to establish more Covid-19 test centres

Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire

The Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Mr Osagie Ehanire says Federal government has concluded plans to establish more testing centres for the Covid-19, in seven States of the Federation.

Dr Ehanire disclosed this at the inaugural joint daily briefing by the Covid-19 Presidential Task Force, in Abuja, Nigeria

He said the move was to meet the demand that will arise as a result of the expansion of the case definition.

Addition of new laboratories

“The NCDC has added a new laboratory to its network of molecular laboratories for COVID-19. This is the Virology Laboratory of University College Hospital, Oyo State.

“We project that in three weeks, seven more labs in Abakiliki, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Sokoto will be added to this network to further expand testing capacity nationwide,” he said.

According to him, the high number of imported cases in Lagos and Abuja is directly due to their function as country gateways for air travel.

“Till date, three persons have been discharged from successful treatment but sadly, another fatality was recorded over the weekend in the person of a patient who had underlying illness”.

“We have intensified contact tracing and our strategy remains to promptly detect cases, isolate them and follow up with contacts, isolate and treat, in order to reduce the spread of infection,” he explained. 

Emergency operations centre

Dr Ehanire added that the Federal Ministry of Health is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, to review response

activities and to institute measures to protect the health and well-being of Nigerians while the NCDC-led multi-sectorial Emergency Operations Centre, EOC continues to coordinate national response activities.

“The NCDC has expanded its capacity by engaging hundreds of ad-hoc staff to support various areas of response including the call centers, contact tracing and follow-up of persons of interest.”

“On the order of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, all retired but essential and able staff are to be recalled to service at this crucial period.”

“In addition, training is being conducted for medical personnel to support overall preparedness and response activities to prevent the virus from spreading to other states. 

This training will also benefit medical personnel from the armed forces, paramilitary, security and intelligence agencies.

 

Dominica Nwabufo