COVID-19: We’ve Carried Out 10,000 Tests Till Date — NCDC

The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, rerealed to Nigerians that the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control has so far tested a total of about 10,000 people.

He made this revelation at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Thursday in Abuja, while to stop comparing Nigeria’s testing capacity with that of other countries in Africa.

“We have a very good strategy around testing.

Until recently, we had about 5,000 test but last week, we have moved from 5,000 to 10,000 tests. We are going to continue to scale up our testing rapidly. We have just got our first set of reagents for high throughput testing.

“We know that the numbers are always thrown around comparing us with South Africa and Ghana, but we are not playing the game of numbers here, these are people’s lives – human beings. Before we test anyone, we go through a risk assessment to make sure it is appropriate to test the person.” he said.

During the briefing, he also made mention of the situation of things in Kano state, stating that the NCDC would ensure to ascertain the information about the deaths in Kano state and would swift into action.

The NCDC Boss said:

“We need time. We have reports that there have been deaths. Our first line of action is to verify if it is true and what will be our next line of action if that is the case.

“We have a team that is working with the government of Kano state to verify the incident and make sure that what is going on is actually what is being reported. Then, we will carry out control measures and see if it is an infectious disease, COVID-19, or something else.

“Unlike Lagos that has a gradual increase in cases, the cases are really increasing rapidly in Kano state. Kano state situation is not a very simple thing to manage. We are working with them to increase the organisational efficiency of response. Also, the treatment centre in Kano state have a capacity of about 300.”

“Every country has its own strategy to combat the coronavirus. In Nigeria, we are not flattening the curve but we are pushing the curve to one side so that we have enough time to prepare our ‘not very strong’ health system.