- The NCDC has commenced community testing in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
- The move is seen as part of efforts of the government to curb the spread of the disease through community transmission
- Analysts say mass-testing is capable of halting the potential of a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country
The Nigeria Center For Disease Control (NCDC) has commenced community testing for the COVID-19 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
This is as the federal government scales up efforts to curb the spread of the disease, especially in rural areas and city suburbs.
In a tweet on Tuesday, April 14, the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the agency had increased its testing capacity.
According to the NCDC boss, the agency is planning to test 1000 samples daily in Abuja and other parts of the country.
“The target is to test 2000 samples in Lagos, 1000 in Abuja and in the rest of the country daily, of the right people who meet the case definition,” the NCDC boss said.
“Our laboratories are ready and have the capacity to test. We must all push harder than we have.
“The responsibility lies with the government as well as with citizens. We can pull through if we stay together,” he added.
Before now, some Nigerians had questioned NCDC's capacity to do mass testing capacity.
Some had suggested that mass temperature check is conducted from house to house, pending when NCDC can reach them for further investigations.
There are also fears that the lockdown may be extended due to the slow testing.
Several calls have been made to the NCDC to deploy as many resources and personnel for mass-testing to ambush this potential of a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.
Globally, rapid mass testing is seen as a better alternative especially in the face of no vaccine, or cure for COVID-19.
Some have also said a lockdown without the mass testing measures in place will be futile in Nigeria's battle to defeat coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the NCDC recently activated a COVID-19 test centre at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, Kano.
The centre is expected to serve the northwest zone of the country.
While inspecting the facility, the deputy governor of Kano, Nasiru Gawuna said henceforth samples of suspected cases will no longer be taken to Abuja but tested in the state.
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