Nigeria: COVID-19 - NMA Committee Urges Govt to Create More Testing Centres

6 April 2020

Abuja — To quicken steps taken to arrest the spread of Coronavirus in the country, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has called for the creation of more testing laboratories.

It also urged the coalition of private sector players supporting the fight against Coronavirus, COVID-19, to supply medical equipment to isolation centres to meet the current shortfall.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja weekend, the chairman of NMA's committee on professional development, Prof. Titus Ibekwe, said: "We appeal that private donors should liaise with manufacturers to donate equipment including setting up laboratories rather than whole cash donations into a pool.

"This way, we can unbundle the overwhelming responsibility of NCDC so they could focus on quality control and standard-setting.

"The measure would enhance an efficient, sensitive and time-bound functional system required to arrest the progression of the pandemic in Nigeria."

Ibekwe noted that the functionality of Federal Government's isolation centre was boosted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with the procurement and donation of nine ventilators, 14 beds and one oxygen extractor among other similar interventions by the private sector.

As at 10:00am Monday morning, Nigeria has recorded 232 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and placed 6,700 contacts on its watchlist, but the country only has seven laboratories for testing samples.

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