We are working aggressively to increase testing in Nigeria – NCDC DG, Dr Ihekweazu

June 19, 2020
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Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has revealed that the nation still falls short on testing, saying that it is the weakest spot in it’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the DG, the agency is working aggressively to increase the testing across the country, as it ambitiously targets 2 million tests in 3 months.

Speaking on Wednesday, Iheakweazu said;

“We are working very aggressively to increase the testing in Nigeria. This is one of the weakest part of our response because we started from a very low base initially but we have worked extremely hard to move from 5 to 35 laboratories right now with their ability to test for COVID-19.

“We have carried out the highest number of test over the last few days and we will keep increasing this progressively across the country.

“Testing is such an important entry point in the response because of the number of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic infections that we have. We have to really ramp up our testing because it is an eye into the outbreak. We can’t manage something we can’t measure sufficiently.

“We also have our eyes on the future because we never want to be in a situation that we are right now. The Africa Centre for Disease Control has been a great support for this.

“We set a very ambitious target for ourselves about a month ago, to test two million people in 3 months. We are not yet meeting that target but we are well on our way to do so as we introduce new testing opportunities using the genexpert platform, the Abbot platform that we use for HIV into the testing apparatus in Nigeria.”

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