• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Nigeria’s COVID-19 testing gets a boost as government approves N8.49bn for kits, others

COVID-19 testing Kits

Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday approved N8.49 billion for the procurement of 12 items in various quantities to strengthen the testing for COVID-19 by the country’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The approval was part of the outcome of the 11th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This was sequel to memo presented by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on behalf of the NCDC.

The approval is coming on the backdrop of recent revelations that Nigeria was yet to commence testing in about 85 of 774 local government areas in the country six months after it reported its first case of the virus on February 28.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday, Ehanire said the procurement of the materials was part of the NCDC’s preparedness on the back of increasing community transmission of COVID-19.

With over 586 local government areas affected so far, he said the materials were needed to expand testing capacities and diagnostic capabilities.

“So, we are procuring testing materials right from sample materials to other diagnostic kits in our laboratories systems to be able to respond properly to community transmission phase,” Ehanire said.

“We have already made plans to have at least one sample collection centre in every local government, minimum of 774, and these resources will be necessary to go around the 774 local government areas, to ensure that persons in rural areas and small towns are not excluded and to ensure that not only the big cities are the ones that are being attended to.

“So that is the basis for the memo. The cost is N8.49 billion to procure the items that are involved. There are a total of 12 items, the quantities involved are large numbers which will be sent out later, he said.