Update: FG converts 300 tuberculosis test machines to coronavirus test

March 31, 2020
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The federal government on Tuesday announced the 300 machines used to test tuberculosis would be converted to the test of coronavirus in the country. It is obvious that the Nigerian government does not have adequate facilities to handle the coronavirus pandemic in the country. This was confirmed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Onyema, at the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at the media briefing said that Nigeria as at Tuesday has recorded 135 confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria, among whom five persons have been discharged after testing negative, while two deaths have been recorded.

The Health Minister explained that Lagos records the highest cases of 81 victims because it is the gateway into the country where a high traffic international airport is located. The minister also explained that those who have tested positive to coronavirus were identified from people who were in countries where the pandemic was ravaging overseas and imported it to Nigeria; while others being tracked are those who had contacts with primary carriers of coronavirus who returned from overseas countries.

The Minister further explained that the lockdown of some states and closure of borders and international airports will reduce further importation of coronavirus into the country.

The minister also said that the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has engaged hundreds of ad hoc staff in the fight against coronavirus; adding that retired medical personnel in the Health Ministry and the NCDC have returned to duty. He added that the ministry is working on providing 1000 beds in isolation centres in Abuja. he said that test sites have been opened in Ibadan, Oyo State, and Abakalliki, Ebonyi State. He maintained that   300 machines used for tuberculosis test will be converted to coronavirus test. He reiterated the imperatives of citizens obeying safety measures and guidelines being issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), NCDC, and others, which include social distancing, reduction of congregation, washing of hands, and others. He said training is ongoing in the country.

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