Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has debunked media reports that it has validated the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kit for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
RDT is a medical diagnostic test that is quick and easy to perform tests. It’s suitable for preliminary or emergency medical screening and for use in medical facilities with limited resources.
RDT also allow point-of-care testing in primary care for things that formerly only a laboratory test could measure. It also provides same-day results within two hours, typically in approximately 20 minutes.
Federal Government said it has been under pressure by some profit driven individuals and companies to allow them bring in RDT kits for Covid-19 test even when World Health Organization (WHO) has not approved it.
It was also gathered that several countries of the world including UK and Spain have tried to use RDT kits for Covid-19 test and regretted it.
NCDC in a tweet said “No Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kit for Covid-19 has been validated. We are aware of the validation studies going on. But until the studies are completed, we cannot procure RDTs, because we do not trust the efficacy of the RDTs.”
NCDC also explained that the Covid-19 test reagents which was recently procured can only be used for its real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) which presently are only done in six molecular laboratories in-country because only molecular tests are definitive and trusted.
It added: “There have been important developments such as use of Gene-Xpert machines. However, we are expanding our testing capacity using this technology to ascertain its efficacy.”