By Kayode Fasua
The Ogun State Government has announced that it has purchased a molecular laboratory, as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
A molecular laboratory is where tests are conducted to check for certain genes, proteins, or other molecules in a sample of tissue, blood, or other body fluids, and it is central to the detection and treatment of coronavirus, medical experts have affirmed.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), there are five such laboratories in the country with capacity to test for COVID 19, and they are located in Lagos (2), Ede in Osun State, Edo, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Ogun State will be the first state to set up its independent laboratory for the diagnosis of coronavirus.
In a statement Thursday, the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said the molecular laboratory would be unveiled during the period of the current lockdown, at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, where finishing touches were being put into making it operational.
The governor had, while declaring open two isolation centres in the state, promised to establish a biomedical laboratory so that tests of suspected cases in the state could be done without going to Lagos, Ede or Abuja.
“When unveiled, it will minimise the test turnaround time, which currently, is between three and five days and fast-track the treatment of positive cases.
“It will also reduce the period of apprehension and anxiety for those suspected of infection and their relations,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, the state government has also said it is contemplating “a review of the relaxation window for people of the state, during the 14-day lockdown recently ordered by the federal government”.
On Tuesday, in his first official response to the national broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Abiodun enjoined residents of Ogun State to endure the 14-day extension of the lockdown.
To strike a delicate balance of need for public safety and welfare of the citizenry, the current window of relaxation of the lockdown in the state from 7.00am to 2.00pm, will follow the same pattern of last week.
“That is, it will still be available for this Wednesday (15th April) and Friday (17th April, 2020).
“However, the government is reviewing the current window to enable citizens and residents restock on food items and conduct essential businesses during the period of the extended lockdown announced by the president,” Abiodun disclosed.