The Lagos State Government has declared that the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits for COVID-19 testing in Lagos is illegal.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who stated this on Thursday in Alausa, Lagos, said until it is validated that RDT kits can actually work, it remains illegal.
Abayomi explained that RDT kits have a very high risk of giving false positive or negative results which could be traumatizing for citizens.
“In the event that a false positive result is given, a potentially negative person will be subjected to trauma, isolation and treatment like a positive patient”
According to him, Eti-Osa Local Government has the highest number of confirmed cases in the State. “Eti-Osa, Alimosho, Kosofe, Ikeja and Oshodi-Isolo account for 60 per cent of the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.”
He said, about 2,036 COVID-19 cases were recorded within the past two weeks.
According to him, as a result of the increase in cases, the home based care program would officially be activated for asymptomatic cases.
“The home based care program would in a couple of days be activated.
“In the next couple of days we will formally activate the home based care program for asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. We will manage the asymptomatic cases through the EkoTeleMed.
“About 2,036 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Lagos within the past two weeks but have not been picked up from the community to the Isolation centre for various reasons including preference for home treatment and wrong information.
“In order to expand our testing capacity, we considered the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits. To facilitate the quick validation of the RDT Kits and reduce the barrier of entry for proposed manufacturers and supplier of RDT Kits,
“However, upon review of the several RDT kits that were submitted for validation, we can report that none of the RDT kits passed the validation exercise. RDT kits have a very high risk of giving false positive or negative results. In the event that a false positive result is given, a potentially negative person will be subjected to trauma, isolation and treatment like a positive patient. In the event that a false negative is given, a potentially positive person is allowed to continue to roam freely in the community regardless of his positive status.
“As a result, the use of RDT kits is illegal until Lagos State can validate RDT kits that actually work. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not yet declared any RDT kit useful for public use.
“It is important to reiterate that the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency and the Lagos State Government has adopted a central planning approach to managing its response. It has come to our attention that several laboratories and health facilities are testing and managing COVID-19 patients without proper accreditation and validation by the regulatory authorities.”
Abayomi also noted that two laboratories were sealed as a result. “We will continue to monitor closely all facilities that partake in these illegal activities and endanger lives of all residents of Lagos State and instigate punitive measure to ensure they desist from such activities.”