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COVID-19 tests: Many factors limiting our target, says NCDC

COVID-19 tests: Many factors limiting our target, says NCDC
May 18
22:36 2020
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Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says the agency’s goal to test more people is being impeded by bottlenecks.

In April, the director-general said the NCDC is targeting two million tests in the next three months.

According to the agency’s situation report for May 17, 2020, Nigeria has tested 35,345 samples since recording the index case on February 27, 2020.

Speaking at the daily press briefing of the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Monday, Ihekweazu said there have been discussions with development partners around the world on how the country could increase its capacity for more tests.

“Yes we did have a target of hitting two million tests in three months. This is the beginning of week three, if I’m not mistaken, so we are not in the second month yet but the third week,” he said.

“Sometimes to drive improvement you have to set out targets for yourself and that is really what we have done; the improvement of testing. There are many bottlenecks to this. Throughout this weekend, we were working with our global partners on how to unbottle the supply chain challenges.

“They are actually going to yield fruit but I’m not going to say a date until I have those reagents in the country. So I’m hesitant to say this is when it would happen. The other thing is how do we stimulate more collection of samples from people.”

The director-general also said the number of tests conducted by each state would be published latest on Tuesday.

“It would be published so you can see that it is not just the testing in the lab. There are states that have no lab but have tested an incredible number compared to the total,” he said.

“We will discuss the numbers when we make them available later today or tomorrow.”

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