The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has called on State governments to intensify efforts to ramp up sample collection and testing for coronavirus.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the disclosure while speaking with journalists on the backdrop of the country’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday in Abuja.
The DG said that no matter how intensive the States’ preventive measures were, success in controlling the outbreak could not be assessed without making efforts to carry out enough tests on people.
He said “No matter how intensive preventive measures are, there’s no way to assess states’ success or failure in managing COVID-19 without conducting more tests to estimate the burden of the disease
”Testing is critical to the national response; we will continue to scale up capacity.
“Our goal is to limit transmission.
“We also appeal to Nigerians to support the public health response to COVID-19 by taking responsibility to limit transmission.
“We will continue to scale up our testing capacity. We are testing every sample we get daily.
“In terms of laboratory capacity, we are ready to do more.”
He further explained that the discharge criteria for any COVID-19 patient at the moment was a single negative coronavirus test.
According to him, the average duration of hospitalisation for COVID-19 patients is 11 days.
“Government decided to do this due to limitations in bed spaces.
“Some people recover faster than others based on certain factors such as the strengths of their immune system.
“Full reopening of the economy will require the sacrifice of all Nigerians in taking responsibility and adhering to recommended measures,” he added.