Nigerian States are no more Conducting Enough COVID-19 Tests – PTF

Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire Nigeria's Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has on Monday disclosed that Nigerian states are no more conducting enough COVID-19 tests despite the increased testing capacity.

The PTF said on Monday that, as at the last count, there are 71 molecular laboratories in the country excluding the accredited private hospitals where COVID-19 tests can be conducted.

Apart from not collecting many samples and conducting enough tests, many states are no longer filing reports on the tests to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The PTF added said that only 13 states reported their figures in the last 24 hours (on Sunday).

It warned that although the number of confirmed cases are low, it is not a basis to draw any conclusion that the country is flattening the curve of the disease.

Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who spoke during the Presidential Task Force briefing, said:

“Seventy-nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection were reported in the past 24 hours from 13 states of the Federation, bringing the total number of known cases as of today 14th September, 2020 to 56,256 out of a total of number of 442,075 tests conducted. 44,152 persons have been treated and discharged while 1,082 have sadly been lost to COVID-19.

“Though we continue to record declining positivity rates every day, we are reluctant to conclude that we are halting the spread of disease, because some states have not sustained the testing rate that would give us more assurance. Only 13 States, for example, reported their figures in the past 24 hours. This can be better.

“Until all parts of the country can sustain a certain testing rate, it would seem presumptuous to conclude that we are flattening the curve.

“In the words of Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), we are not safe until everyone is safe. I therefore again request our state governments to ramp up the testing momentum, so that we can together get control of the spread of this disease in our country.”

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