The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that National Center for Disease Control NCDC added a new laboratory to its network of molecular laboratories for COVID-19 as the government project in three (3) weeks, seven (7) more labs in Abakiliki, Kaduna, Kano, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt and Sokoto will be added to this network to further expand testing capacity nationwide.
Speaking at the press briefing in Abuja on Monday, he said NCDC expanded its capacity by engaging hundreds of ad-hoc staff to support various areas of response including the call centers, contact tracing and follow-up of persons of interest.
He said the Ministry is working hard to open-up as many testing sites as possible. “With new additions to the case definition, persons with fever and either cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath in an area of medium or high prevalence of COVID-19, can test for the disease. “In addition, training is being conducted for medical personnel to support overall preparedness and response activities to prevent the virus from spreading to other states.
These trainings will also benefit medical personnel from the armed forces, paramilitary, security and intelligence agencies”, he said. He urged members of the public to note that testing is free and at no cost to the public. “Anyone demanding to be paid or given a tip should be immediately reported to the appropriate authorities.
Importantly, there are no Rapid Diagnostic Tests available that have been WHO validated, because they often give unreliable results. “Unless you have been tested in one of the six molecular laboratories for COVID-19 in Nigeria, your results are most likely useless.
If you think you fit the case definition of a suspect case, please call the NCDC or your State hotline for immediate testing. This is the only way to ensure you get suitable treatment”, he said