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COVID-19: Akwa Ibom govt threatens to shut down unapproved testing centres

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The Akwa Ibom State government has threatened to shut down any unauthorized or unlicensed COVID-19 testing centres in the state.

This was revealed on Monday by the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem who said that organization found using or procuring the use of any other testing method for COVID-19 other than PCR will be shut down by the state government.

Dr Ekuwem also condemned in strong terms the attempts to use serological testing in the determination of a person’s COVID-19 status, saying it has 40 per cent chances of error and a further threat to health.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Akwa Ibom records 8 deaths, conducts 1,721 tests

He said that the state government position was pursuant to NCDC guidelines and in line with the global best practices.

Dr Ekuwem said, “In line with emerging realities in COVID-19 detection and management, it has become imperative for the state government to unambiguously define her position on the standard and quality of test acceptable within the borders of Akwa Ibom state.

“The state government hereby announces that the testing method acceptable in Akwa Ibom is the PCR test. This position is made pursuant to NCDC guidelines and the global best practice. The primary duty of government is the protection of lives and property.

“Research has shown clearly that no other testing method guarantees less error rate than the PCR, hence our preference for it. We condemn specifically any attempt to use serological testing in the determination of a person’s COVID-19 status. This test has a very high failure rate and is therefore a public health risk, which is absolutely unacceptable to us as a responsible government.

“Any health facility or Private laboratories seeking to undertake COVID-19 test are reminded that they must first obtain clearance and certification from the NCDC and must be registered to the state government.

“Any organization using or procuring the use of any other testing method for COVID-19 will be shut down by the state government for constituting a public health threat to the people of our dear state,” he concluded.

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