Doris Obinna, Lagos
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, disclosed on Thursday that COVID-19 tests in all approved testing centres in the state are carried out free of charge.
Abayomi said this while reacting to an online report which alleged that patients pay N30,000 for COVID-19 test at Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) approved centres in Lagos, the commissioner noting that no designated testing centre in the state is allowed to collect money for COVID-19 tests.
“I want to state unequivocally that there is no designated COVID-19 testing centre in Lagos that collects or is allowed to collect money for COVID-19 test. Tests at the designated testing centres are free of charge,” he said.
The commissioner said that the state Ministry of Health is not aware of any health worker at any of the testing centres that collect money for COVID-19 tests. He cautioned residents to be wary of misleading reports targeted at discrediting frontline health workers who are working extremely hard to ensure that the spread of the coronavirus is contained.
“I want to assure the public that activities at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba, and other approved centres for COVID-19 screening are effectively monitored in accordance with the strict guidelines of the Lagos State COVID-19 Response under which no fees are collected for the tests.
“Furthermore, we urge Lagos State residents to call 08000CORONA to report any health worker and or anyone who demands and or requests fees to conduct COVID19 tests at any of our designated testing centres.”
Prof Abayomi warned that any health worker or personnel who indulge in any illegal activities would be sanctioned in line with extant provision of the law and rules guiding their duties.
“Please, be assured that the Lagos State Government will discipline any health worker or personnel who indulge in such illegal activities,” the commissioner said.