Nigeria’s testing capacity for COVID-19 has increased to 2,500 daily at 15 laboratories.
Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who announced this on Thursday, also said the proposed amendment to the NCDC Bill can wait till after the pandemic.
He said: “The daily laboratory testing capacity has now increased to 2,500 in 15 laboratories. If you suspect COVID-19, call the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) toll-free number for a test,” the Minister said.
“We are in the process of scaling up testing across the country and the key component that has changed in this, at least in Lagos, Abuja and Kano, instead of waiting for people to call us, we are now going to where the patients are.
“We have set up specific testing locations, Of course in collaboration and under the leadership of the states in these three states to increase the throughput of samples being collected from cases that actually do meet the case definition.
“We are not waiting for patients to come but we are going into the community, health centres to identify people that need this case definition and bring them in. we are doing this because we are now fairly certain that we do have ongoing community transmission especially in these three cities.
“Our response strategies and adaptive one and we adapt to the circumstances in every state of cities where the nature of transmission changes.
“These changes mean that more and more people will be going into the community. It means that for us to go into your community you have to accept us and be willing to support the Healthcare worker and do not stigmatize them or the community in which they do their work.”