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Health Minister, Ehanire, worries over low Covid-19 testing



The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has expressed his worry over the low level of testings for the novel Covid-19 virus after recent findings revealed that most laboratories in the country were operating below capacity.

Ehanire who addressed the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing, in Abuja, on Monday, said that it will be difficult to flatten the Coronavirus (COVID-19) curve if testing for the virus is not adequate.

He however noted that moves have been concluded to set up and optimise laboratories across the country adding that efforts were ongoing to ensure the provision of at least one laboratory in every state.

“Our target is to test two million Nigerians for COVID-19, of which we have achieved barely a quarter.

“However, plans have been concluded to set up and optimise laboratories in all states. “For this, collaboration with state and FCT health sector structures is crucial.

“We urge all state organs not to relent in strengthening surveillance and setting up sample collection sites in all LGAs and even in all wards of the hotspot LGAs,” he said.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt will back NAFDAC on Covid-19 researches –Ehanire

The minister called for increased vigilance in view of government’s planned reopening of commercial international flights in Lagos and Abuja airports. He said that it had become critical to review the COVID-19 protocols to ensure early detection, isolation and treatment of any positive case.

“While these protocols may cause inconveniences, like delays at the airport, it is a small price to pay for our safety and health, especially for travellers.

“As we strive to bring COVID-19 under control, we endeavour to keep our eyes on other diseases that contribute to mortality, especially of women and children.

“Malaria is an example, for which we continue to strengthen routine services in our primary healthcare facilities.

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