Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has approved a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based COVID-19 testing centre at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, making it the first of such in the state.
Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Obinna Onodugo, who announced this in a statement, also revealed he has commissioned a building at the hospital to serve as a holding and isolation centre in readiness for the commencement of COVID-19 tests.
He said patients who appeared with signs consistent with symptoms of COVID-19 will be directed to the holding centre from where samples will be taken for testing in the new laboratory.
This is coming at a time when the number of cases in the state has risen to 144 as 18 new cases were recorded on Sunday. Recall that 31 new cases were also recorded last Friday, leaving the state with 110 active cases, 29 discharged cases and five deaths so far.
Experts say the PCR method guarantees up to 85 percent accuracy in COVID-19 tests as it is used to directly detect the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response.
By detecting viral Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), which will be present in the body before the forming of antibodies or symptoms of the disease, the tests can tell whether or not someone has the virus very early.