Nigeria: COVID-19 - Govt to Test 1,500 Nigerians Daily

31 March 2020

The federal government on Tuesday said it would increase its capacity to test for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to 1,500 per day from the present 500 tests daily.

The Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the second joint national briefing of the Presidential Taskforce Force (PTF) on COVID-19, headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

According to him, the focus of the centre was to improve the number of people that could be tested.

He said, "Last week, we had the capacity to test 500 per day, by the end of this week we will be at 1,000 a day. By next week, we are hoping to get to 1,500 a day."

Ihekweazu, however, said that Nigerians need to reduce the demand side of the testing to those who really needed it.

He lamented that the more the people force themselves into being tested, the less NCDC would have the capacity to test those who really need the testing.

He said that while those that did not required to be tested are taking the space for those that needed to be tested, the people that really need the testing would be transmitting it into the community adding that more people would get infected.

READ THIS: COVID-19: Nigeria's confirmed cases now 139

"By testing those that do not need it, people are blocking the system and there is a price to pay," he said.

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