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COVID 19: Group urges NCDC to be more open with data on testing

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NCDC to fast track testing, result, isolation response time frame

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has been urged to make public the daily number of Nigerians being screened for the CoronaVirus.

A coalition of civil society groups led by Civic Media Lab (CML) urged the National Center for Disease Control to provide this critical data set, which it said, would help Nigerians and the world know the true state of our common fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The fight against the Coronavirus is a common fight in which all Nigerians are enlisted. However, as stakeholders in the fight against Coronavirus disease we request to have this critical piece of the puzzle so that we would know how far along we are in securing a victory” CML Director Akinfolarin Oluwaseun said in the statement issued on Monday.

The coalition, made up of Interactive Initiative for Social Impact (The Interactive), HEDA Resource Centre, Civil Society Network Against Corruption Reboot, Center for Advocacy, Transparency and Accountability Initiative (CATAI), and the Civic Media Lab said they had deployed resources towards fighting this Pandemic and more resources will be deployed in areas where there are perceived deficiencies.

It however, stated that but it was pertinent for all stakeholders to know that the leadership of this battle is honest and transparent.

Akinfolarin said the strategy that has worked in places that have seen significant reduction in the number of cases has been due to four factors namely: testing, isolation, treatment and tracing. “Testing is the most critical of these four critical success factors, without testing, it is difficult to know who has been infected and stopping the spread through innocent infection of others is not feasible.

“While not trying to second guess the knowledge and wisdom of the professionals in NCDC, we can follow the simple logic that we cannot control what you cannot see and the simple way of seeing is by doing these tests,” Akinfolarin said.

According to the World Health Organization, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is critical to help track the virus, understand the epidemiology, inform case management, and to suppress transmission.

Mr Akinfolarin explained that the countries that are successfully managing this crisis tested thousands of citizens daily at the outset, adding, that Nigeria is falling behind when compared to other countries (as shown below),

COVID 19: Group urges NCDC to be more open with data on testing

He said the coalition will support the Federal Government and NCDC in every way possible during this crisis but wishes to demand cooperation, transparency, accountability and proactive disclosure of information from all those concerned.

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