Nigerian Government has begun plans to expand the testing capacity to all 36 states and the nation’s capital Abuja.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Medical Officer for COVID_19 Case Management Team, Dr Sandra Mba, disclosed this in a tweet chat with The Guardian on Wednesday.
“Currently @NCDCgov has expanded the testing capacity to 12 labs in Nigeria. The platform being used for testing currently is RT-PCR,” Mba said.
“However, NCDC also has a plan to expand the testing capacity to all 36 states & FCT using other validated methods and working closely with partners,” she added.
She, however, did not mention any of the partners the NCDC is working with or the timeline for the project.
Nigeria has recorded 373 cases coronavirus since its index case was announced late February. But many medical critics believe the country is not testing enough people.
According to www.worldometers.info, as of 10pm on Sunday, Nigeria had tested 5,000 people, while 37,954 persons were tested in Ghana. On the other hand, South Africa had tested 80,085 people.
Lagos State Government on Tuesday, however, announced that it has tested over 118, 000 persons.
The World Health Organisation last week said there was an urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing in Africa. It advised that testing must go beyond cities.
On Sunday, a coalition of medical groups, including the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said it was not enough for the federal and state governments to impose lockdown on citizens without ensuring that those who had been infected with the virus were fished out and tested.