On Tuesday, Federal Government announced that by next week, Nigeria would be testing 1,500 people for COVID-19 every day.
Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja, said the country, as of last week, was conducting 500 tests per day.
Ihekweazu said this as some states, including Oyo and Edo, on Tuesday complained that they were facing a shortage of testing kits for the virus.
On its part, the Bauchi State Government appealed to the Federal Government to set up a COVID-19 testing facility in the state.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, as part of efforts to increase contact tracing and treat Nigerians, who might have contracted the virus, ordered lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states.
Although Nigeria recorded the first coronavirus case on February 27, the figure shot up to 131 on Monday night amidst complaints that the country was not testing many people with suspected cases of the virus.
Prominent Nigerians, who have been diagnosed with the disease include the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed; his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir El-Rufai and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State
Ihekweazu, at the press conference, said the NCDC would only test specific persons whose case definition fitted into that of the centre.
He stated, “As of last week, we were testing about 500 per day, or we had the capacity to test 500 per day. By the end of this week, we will be at 1,000 per day, and next week we plan to take it to 1, 500 per day, just by increasing the number of labs.
Also, the Edo State Commissioner for Health, Mr. Patrick Okundia, has lamented lack of sufficient testing kits for suspected coronavirus cases.
Okundia, who stated this in an interview, said the state had only one molecular machine in the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital which was inadequate for the state.
According to him, the state does not have the other rapid test kits.
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