Nigeria: Covid-19 - Kogi, Cross River, Five Other States Not Testing Enough - NCDC

(file photo).
11 December 2020

"It's important to test, to manage the outbreak and plan for vaccination"

Some states are not conducting enough COVID-19 tests, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, has lamented.

Nigeria is yet to test a million people since the pandemic broke out in February. The daily figures of infections have risen sharply in the last eight days, after months of low numbers.

While the country has recorded over 71,000 infections, some states like Kogi with over three million people and Cross River with a population of over two million are yet to record up to 100 cases between them.

According to Thursday's figures, Cross River has reported 90 cases but Kogi has not recorded a single case, 157 days after it reached its tally of five cases.

Earlier this week, PREMIUM TIMES reported how no cases were reported from nine states; Borno, Gombe, Ebonyi, Abia, Enugu, Adamawa, Kebbi, Zamfara and Kogi, in four consecutive weeks.

Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, the NCDC boss said the public health agency has facilitated at least one lab with capacity for testing in each state.

He further said the reasons for low testing vary from poor demand to limited access.

Meanwhile, speaking during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday, Mr Ihekweazu listed Cross River, Jigawa, Kogi, Osun, Ebonyi, Adamawa and Zamfara as states not testing enough.

"It's important to test, to manage the outbreak and plan for vaccination," Punch newspaper quoted him to have said.

Mr Ihekweazu begged Nigerians to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, particularly advising against mass gatherings.

"The numbers are not looking good and we need to take this very seriously as we plan for the end of the year," he said.

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