Obinna Odogwu, Awka
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control [NCDC] has activated COVID-19 test centre set up in Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka in Anambra State.
This was disclosed by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano. Obiano said that approval for the test centre awaited for a long time was received last Saturday being July 4.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Ikenna Aniagboso, in a statement, quoted Obiano as saying that the approval came after the state government received test kits and other relevant materials from the NCDC adding that the state had been cleared to commence testing from July 6, 2020.
Aniagboso went further to quot the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, as saying that the mega PCR laboratory was equipped with five Abbot m2000 platforms – a sophisticated machine that has the ability to run 94 tests per cycle.
“When fully optimized, one can get five cycles done in 24 hours. This will translate to 470 tests by a machine per day. If one were to dedicate the five machines to COVID-19 testing, one will hit 2,350 tests per day. This is the first time it will be used in the entire country for COVID-19 test”, the commissioner stated.
“The Abbot platform uses only kits manufactured by Abbot. The product was in high demand all over the world because of its efficacy; and naturally, it became scarce. Logistics was also a global problem occasioned by the pandemic”, explained Dr Okpala.
The commissioner added that the activation of the testing centre was delayed because of the special kits used by the machine; “but we embarked on training of personnel for testing and sample collection, believing that this day would come.”
“So far, the lab personnel have shown a lot of professionalism and we are proud of the progress we have made since we launched this war against COVID-19. We will no longer need to take samples to Irua and wait for days for confirmation.
“We are grateful to Gov. Obiano for supporting us every inch of the way. His commitment to the fight against COVID-19 is commendable. We are also grateful to NCDC, FHI360, Global Fund, WHO and all those who worked assiduously to make this a reality”, he said.