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COVID-19 - Nigeria Targets 2 Million Tests in 3 Months, Says Nothing Abnormal in Kano

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that government is targeting to test two million Nigerians in three months at 50,000 per state.

The Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 21st joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

He also lamented that the nation was lagging behind in testing capacities and needed to catch up.

According to him, the goal of the response team is to avoid any case in any of the three states (Cross Rivers, Kogi and Yobe states) still without any reported case of COVID-19.
"How are we going to do this? Nigeria has learnt from countries that the only way to achieve this is to test many people.

"The laboratory strategic group that is responding to this outbreak has set itself a target of testing two million people in the next three months.

"This is a very ambitious target. We are working very hard with our development partners and all our friends to equip our labs to be able to do this.

"It is going to cost us a lot of money but we can't do this without a lot of collaboration from everybody. A country that has achieved a lot more in terms of testing is South Africa. Not only that they have tested more, they have tested more as a proportion of their population.

"We are lagging behind, but now we have to catch up. So, when I referred to this, it is really an epidemiological indicator of how well a response is doing.
"In order to test two million people in three months across the country, we need to test about 50,000 per state plus-minus, depending on your population size," the NCDC boss said.

'Kano deaths not extra-ordinary'

The Federal Government has said that the sharp increase of COVID-19 positive cases in Kano State concentrated in seven municipal council areas and also about the 'unexplained' deaths were not out of the ordinary.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said: "There is national concern about the sharp increase of COVID-19 positive cases in Kano concentrated in seven municipal council areas and also about certain so-called 'unexplained' deaths. The authorities have explained that the latter were not out of the ordinary."

This is as he also said that the Federal Government will deploy ambulances as well as a fact-finding committee to Kano State to ascertain the true extent of the effect of the COVID-19 in the state, as well as to improve the state's efforts in fighting the spread of the disease.

He said: "Advisories have also been issued for staying protected during this Ramadan season, as risk communications has also been intensified by airing jingles in local languages on physical distancing and stigmatisation across all states."

As of Tuesday, 28th April, 2020, 1,337 people have been confirmed to have COVID-19; 64 new confirmations distributed with 34 in Lagos, 15 in FCT, 11 in Borno and two each in Gombe and Taraba states.

255 persons have been successfully treated for COVID-19 and discharged, and 40 deaths were recorded.


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