The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has approved the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory for testing of coronavirus samples in Akwa Ibom.
The approval followed the validation visit by the agency to the Akwa Ibom Isolation Centre with inbuilt Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory situated at the Disease Control Unit of the General Hospital in Ituk Mbang.
The leader of the NCDC delegation, Mr Bamidele Oluwafemi made this known at a courtesy visit to the Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem on Tuesday.
Oluwafemi described the isolation centre with the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory as one of the best in the country.
He said that everything at the centre was up to the expected standard of NCDC.
The team leader said the state owned PCR laboratory has been fully activated by the NCDC for testing.
Oluwafemi lauded the state government for building the facility, adding that it would not only serve the purpose of containing the spread of COVID-19, but other viral diseases in the state.
Responding, Ekuwem expressed appreciation to the NCDC team for activating and approving the PCR laboratory.
“On behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, I express our heartfelt gratitude to the team from the NCDC for visiting our state to painstakingly inspect and evaluate the kind of facility we have in the premises of General Hospital, Ituk Mbang,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to Gov. Emmanuel Udom for the huge investment in the health sector as exemplified in the upgrading of healthcare facilities across the state.
Ekuwem informed the NCDC officials that the Udom-led administration had procured various medical equipment for the state before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking, the State Incident Manager and Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, said that with the approval of the laboratory, the challenges faced by the state in taking COVID-19 samples to other states for testing would be history.
He said the laboratory, would also be used in carrying out tests for other infectious diseases.
He said that it would also help in increasing the testing of persons suspected of the coronavirus, thereby helping the state to contain further spread of the virus. (NAN)