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NCDC to fast tract testing, result, isolation response timeframe

The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has said that Nigeria had reviewed its response timeframe to achieve quicker testing, result and isolation.

Ihekweazu stated this on Monday at the press briefing organised by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He said: “To improve the efficiency of the work being done, we have agreed on five targets for all the states actively involved. The targets are broad but they will be tightened every day to show that the time given by the President is worthy of the sacrifice Nigerians are making.

“The targets we are setting for teams in Abuja and Lagos are to make sure that collection of samples from individual symptomatic individuals happens within eight hours of notification of the state team.

“Secondly, the turnaround time for testing and result will be less than 24 hours. This is the case because samples come in late in the evening and result must come out the next day.

Read also: NCDC confirms six fresh cases of COVID-19 as Nigeria’s total rises to 238

“The third one is that we plan to test 200 samples per day in Lagos and 100 in Abuja by the end of this week. The fourth one is to isolate patients in less than six hours after they have received their positive results. We plan to isolate every confirm case. We will measure ourselves with percentages of each of these indicators and use that to improve the effectiveness of the response.”

According to Ihekweazu, 30 per cent of cases established in Nigeria so far were through contact tracing.

“In addition to case finding, the second most important thing is contact tracing. This involves strenuous effort and it sometimes following tens of contacts of each individual. Each case has about 30 to 40 contacts to follow.

The NCDC boss also disclosed that two laboratories in Kano and Kaduna would be activated on Tuesday (today) with two others to be activated in Jos and Maiduguri from Thursday.”

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