The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has disclosed that they are looking for about 6,000 people who had contacts with COVID-19 patients in Lagos and Abuja.
The NCDC boss said so far, 2,000 people had been tested for coronavirus nationwide a figure which experts described as grossly inadequate compared to Nigeria’s 200 million population. The experts spoken to yesterday expressed fears that hundreds of thousands of people across the 36 states of the federation might have been exposed to the coronavirus but their status could not be ascertained.
Though they commended the federal government’s efforts towards establishing testing centres in different parts of the country, the experts called for renewed vigour in that direction to forestall emergency situation that would overwhelm existing facilities.
Two weeks lockdown meant to trace suspected cases Speaking yesterday while featuring on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, Dr. Ihekweazu said the NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health hoped to use the period of the two-week lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to trace contacts of infected persons.
According to him:-
“These weeks will allow our teams to have access to the contacts that are living around Lagos and FCT. We are following over 6,000 contacts of the 111 confirmed cases across these two cities. Every time we have a new case, we add about 50 to 60 contacts to follow every single day for 14 days.”[/b]
On the number of people tested for the COVID-19, he said, “We have tested well over 2,000 people; we will update those figures today or tomorrow. We have increased the number of labs in our network to six.
We are activating Abakaliki today (Monday). There would be a 7th laboratory in our network. On how long it takes to test one person, he said, “It takes 24 to 48 hours for a coronavirus test to be done and the result released.” Ihekweazu said the NCDC was working towards reducing the duration to 12 hours.
“Molecular testing is carried out in runs. One run can take six to seven hours. We have now almost optimised the process to do three runs a day in each lab. And that is why you have seen the numbers rise because we are testing more samples and producing more results.”
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases have risen to 131 in the country as the NCDC announced 20 new cases last night.
In a tweet, The NCDC said:-
Twenty new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria; 13 in Lagos, four in FCT, two in Kaduna and one in Oyo State.
Source: News update