- All local government areas in Nigeria will soon have testing centres for COVID-19
- This is one of the plans of the federal government to address Nigeria's testing deficit
- Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, made this known on Monday, July 13
The federal government has said that in order to address the testing deficit in Nigeria, it plans to establish one sample collection centre in every local government area in the country.
Already, a sample collection centre has been set up in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and that all government hospitals in the FCT have been designated as sample collection centres.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, made this known on Monday, July 13.
He reiterated that contacting COVID-19 is not a death sentence, but not presenting oneself for testing or treatment when symptoms become observable could likely lead to avoidable death.
His words: ‘‘Underlying the above, as a cross-cutting initiative, is an enhanced Risk Communication Strategy designed not only to educate the citizenry on the virulence of the virus and individual and collective roles, but more importantly to tackle the deliberate misinformation being bandied around especially on social media.
‘‘An enhanced risk communication strategy becomes inevitable when we realise that within the last 24 hours, the world witnessed the largest single-day cases of 230,370, while in Nigeria the last week recorded the highest weekly fatality of 70 deaths.’’
The PTF chairman further said that the rising fatalities in Nigeria were not unconnected with denial and delay in seeking help.
Mustapha said that the PTF is also encouraged by the compliance messages that have gone viral on social media and that one of those that caught his attention gives three major reasons why COVID-19 is spreading fast.
The message reads: They are my colleagues, so I can speak without a mask; they are my close friends, so I can speak without a mask; they are my relations, so I can speak without a mask.
‘‘This message is so poignant that if we juxtapose it with the fact that crowded places and closed spaces create an environment for the spread, we should behave more responsibly,’’ Mustapha stated.
Recall that the federal government had on Thursday, July 9 launched a COVID-19 diagnostic kit to make testing easily accessible.
Already, the Coalition Against COVID-19 had donated N1.4billion medical equipment, 26,400 test kits to boost COVID-19 testing across Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has dismissed reports that over 50 lawmakers tested positive to COVID-19.
Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Honourable Benjamin Kalu, in a statement sent to journalists on Wednesday, July 8 said there was no time 50 members of the lower house tested positive to COVID-19, urging the public to disregard the news.
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