Three Nigerian Laboratories Equipped To Test Coronavirus, Says FG

Written by on February 13, 2020

The Federal Government has equipped three laboratories in Nigeria with re-agents capable of detecting any possible case of Coronavirus in the country.

The disease, which first broke out in the Wuhan province of China, has infected 42,708 people and claimed 1,017 lives.

Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire disclosed this on Wednesday to State house correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The minister said the re-agents and Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine used in molecular biology to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample were purchased about eight days ago.

“The preparedness mostly at the airports which are the main points of entry into the country; Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano and also the fact that all passengers arriving Nigeria are screened by camera’s that take your temperature and looks at your travel history.

“Since about eight days ago, we obtained a re-agent necessary; we have the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines which we have for molecular diagnostics.”

The health minister added that “It is instructive to know that there is no case of coronavirus in Nigeria and there is no case reported in Africa.”

He added that the laboratories where the machines have been deployed in Lagos, Abuja, and Irrua in Edo state have tested two cases of Coronavirus, which turned out negative.

“For coronavirus being a new disease was not very much available but we acquired it about eight days ago and now three laboratories in Nigeria can test coronavirus, in fact, they have tested two cases already which were negative; Lagos, Abuja and Irrua which is Nigeria’s centre of excellence for this viral haemorrhagic fever which is a category to which coronavirus and Lassa fever belongs to particularly.”

He revealed that for Lassa fever, there have been quite a few incidences that took place in 2020, but the treatment and reporting have also improved.

Mr. Ehanire stated that the case fatality rate has dropped to about 15 from 30 per cent.

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