The Nigeria Center for Disease Control NCDC has stated that there is no plan to transport positive samples from one state to the other, the responsibilities of NCDC is to scale-up the capacity for COVID-19 diagnosis in Nigeria as the organization respond to this pandemic.
In a statement released by the management of the organization on Saturday, over the misinterpretation of the Federal Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 testing strategy and efforts to protect the health of Nigerians from this disease through the statement by Cross River Commissioners of Information and Health.
According to the statement, “NCDC is leading the expansion of testing capacity for COVID-19 in Nigeria. As part of the national strategy to scale up COVID-19 testing published in March 2020, we are leveraging GeneXpert equipment currently used for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. The use of GeneXpert will significantly scale-up testing for COVID-19 and improve turn-around time for results in the country.
“Nigeria is one of many countries around the world using the GeneXpert system to scale up testing capacity. This expansion process is in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), and supported by partners at US-CDC, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and others.
There are 400 sites in Nigeria with GeneXpert equipment for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. However, we have prioritised the roll-out of GeneXpert in states where there is a high level of community transmission and states with limited or no laboratory capacity for the diagnosis of COVID-19 at the moment. These are Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Lagos, Enugu, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Benue, and the FCT. Already, we have worked with NTBLCP and our partners to activate two GeneXpert laboratories in Kaduna and Nasarawa States. Eventually, we plan to roll out the GeneXpert testing sites for COVID-19 in every state in Nigeria”.
It further said, “Our ability to promptly detect cases and halt the spread of the virus in our communities, is largely dependent on our ability to scale-up access to testing for Nigerians.
“We remain strongly committed to our mandate to protect the health of Nigerians. We urge the public to remain aware of the risks of COVID-19 and to adhere to the preventive measures advised by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health”.