- A molecular diagnostic laboratory has been constructed by the Akwa Ibom state government
- The laboratory has also been given the approval to run coronavirus tests by the NCDC
- Two kinds of tests are available for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests
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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has given a pass mark to the newly opened molecular diagnostic laboratory constructed by the Akwa Ibom state government for running of coronavirus tests.
The diagnostic laboratory is within the disease control unit of the 300-bed capacity isolation centre recently built by Governor Udom Emmanuel, at Methodist Hospital, Ituk Mbang.
The state's molecular diagnostic laboratory was given the approval to run coronavirus tests by the NCDC on Monday, June 8.
Some residents in Akwa Ibom say they are elated about the development in improving the state's response and management of COVID-19 cases in their domain.
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Nsima Ekere, said: “Excited and proud to hear that NCDC has certified the newly constructed laboratory at Ituk Mbang as Isolation Centre.
“Congratulations to Mr Udom Emmanuel and the Akwa Ibom State government. Time to ramp up testing and keep the peace-loving and hard-working Akwa Ibom people safe from Covid-19.”
Recall that the Akwa Ibom state government had earlier concluded modalities to embark on mass testing of its citizens for coronavirus.
The decision is due to the spike in the number of confirmed cases in the state in recent times.
Addressing newsmen, the chairman COVID-19 committee and secretary to the state government Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem noted that voluntary aggressive testing has become imperative in Akwa Ibom.
According to the World Health Organisation, mass testing is one of the most effective ways to "flatten the curve."
The WHO has also created and compiled a set of resources to help governments and healthcare organizations set up and operate mass testing sites.
Akwa Ibom state government seems to be following the guidelines of the world health body.
In some advanced countries, drive-through testing centres are now available. This is a location where the patient remains in the car throughout the whole process.
When the patient reaches the testing area, he or she winds down the car window a few inches to allow the lab scientist to collect samples.
Because the patient does not leave the vehicle, there is very minimal contact between the patient and the staff.
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