Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Friday, confirmed that it had conducted COVID-19 test on 7,153 samples collected from its 12 laboratories across Nigeria using the real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines.
There are indications that the rise in the figure of tests was as a result of recent increase in number of laboratories across Nigeria. So far, there are 12 testing centres across the country and more would be activated soon, according to government.
NCDC in a tweet on Friday, said, “as of 6:00 pm 17th April, 7, 153 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria with 442 positive cases. We are working very hard to increase the number of samples tested, including community surveillance across the country particularly in the FCT and Lagos which have recorded high a number of cases.”
It also announced that it had published a national strategy to scale up COVID-19 testing in Nigeria which leverages validated technology, thus urging anyone who wishes to contribute to the strategy in any way to study and understand the plan and trajectory before keying in.
In addition to that, it said that a guideline had also been developed for private health care facilities to participate in the support and possible treatment of COVID-19 patients in Nigeria.
The new guideline, it said, was in response to public outcry for increased participation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic particularly testing and possible treatment.
NCDC thus registered its optimism that the coming on board of private health care facilities would hasten response action for COVID-19.
The tweet reads: “The accreditation committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Health and led by Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has developed guidelines for accreditation of private health facilities to support the response to COVID-19 in Nigeria.”
It encouraged private facilities who have the basic required facilities and personnel to inform the NCDC and necessary things would be done.
“If we receive such request, we would dispatch our team to assess the facilities to be sure they meet minimum global standard. In the event they lack anything, we would advise and support them on what to do to upgrade their facilities,” NCDC said.
Meanwhile, NCDC said its rapid response team in Kano had increased its support to the state in its response to COVID-19 since the first case was confirmed.
It explained that a rapid response team is usually deployed to each state once the first case of COVID-19 is confirmed.