Measures to arrest COVID-19: Group Observe Absence Of Test Centres In Four Of Geo-political Zones

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As Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the WHO and cases has continued to surge in Nigeria and around the world, a group observed that there are no testing centres in four of the Geo-political zones in Nigeria.


It was revealed that there are no testing facilities in zones like, the South-east, the Northeast, the Northwest and Northcentral zones of the country, there were calls from concerned Nigerians that eventually the need arises which require an individual to get tested, there will be a problem.

Reviewing the test centres across the country, there are five laboratories in all with the requisite facility for the testing of the dreaded virus and all are located in the Southwest and the South-South zones of the country.

It was gathered that two of the laboratories are located in Lagos while one in Osun states, all in the southwest region.

Meanwhile, another laboratory is located in Edo state, a South-South state and one laboratory located in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) presumed to be taking care of the whole northern Nigeria.

The identified laboratories capable of handling the virus tests include; the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja; the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State; the Virology Laboratory in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR); and the Lagos African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Disease in Osun State.

Some sources said most of the centres were being overwhelmed on a daily basis by panicking Nigerians who wanted to check their status even if they did not show any sign of the disease.

DailyTrust gathered that the only state-owned laboratory testing centre in Lagos is located at the Mainland hospital where the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) is located and many Nigerians were tested at no cost.

One Mallam Nasiru Yusuf a resident of Dutsen-ma Local Government Area in Kastina state laments that eventually the disease brake out in the north, now that there is one in Kastina state, he said one has to travel hundreds of Kilometres down south before he gets tested.

In his analysis, “It is nearly 850 kilometres from Maiduguri to Abuja and nearly 650 kilometres from Sokoto to Abuja.

You can imagine what will happen when you have many emergencies,” he said.

At the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) also, a medical doctor called on the state governors in the North to stop waiting for the Federal Government before they make a move, they should go beyond banning public gathering or shutting down schools.

They should take a step further and procure a world-class facility that can arrest the situation.

Recall some days back, the Senate expressed displeasure with the number of testing centres in the country, saying there are no testing centres available in some geopolitical zones.

Meanwhile, Senate President Ahmad Lawan enjoined the federal government to establish more of the testing centres particularly in zones that have none.

Lawan was responding to a motion moved by Ibrahim Oloriegbe who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health.