NIGERIAN health officials have announced plans to drastically increase the number of coronavirus tests they conduct setting themselves a daily target 3,500 in a bid to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control.
At the moment, Nigeria is carrying out about 2,500 tests day but the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control ( NCDC) hopes to drastically increase this over the next 30 days. Already, 20 extra test centres have been opened in Lagos State and there are now plans to boost this to a point whereby Nigeria is carrying out more tests than any other African nation.
A document titled National Strategy to Scale Up Access to Coronavirus Disease Testing in Nigeria, has been prepared by the NCDC outlining the strategy. According to the NCDC, the objectives of the national strategy are to increase testing capacity from nine laboratories in six states to at least 15 laboratories in 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the document, the NCDC is currently working with state governments and other tertiary health facilities to identify other laboratories with required capacities. Its plabns include expanding existing polymerase chain reaction capacity and biosafety level two cabinets to roll out testing, leveraging existing laboratories for viral haemorrhagic fevers and polio.