NCDC to Test 2m Persons in Three Months

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Chikwe Ihekweazu
Director General, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has unfolded plans to test two million people within the next three months.

Speaking at the daily press briefing on COVID-19, he said the move was in line with the charge given by Buhari while addressing the nation on Monday to expand the nation’s testing capacity.

He added that the centre would work with development partners to achieve the target.

He also explained that Nigeria had so far conducted a total of 12,004 tests.

Ihekweazu, who acknowledged that the country was behind some other nations in testing capacity and the number so far tested for the virus, expressed worry that certain human factors were inhibiting the NCDC’s drive to carry out more tests and contact tracing.

“We have learnt from every other country and we have found out that the only way to achieve this is to test more people. Our strategic group that is attending to this outbreak has set itself a target of testing two million people in the next three months.

“This is a very ambitious target. We are working very hard with our development partners and friends to equip our laboratories to be able to make this happen,” he stated.

Ihekweazu expressed concern that frequent non-essential travels by people are threatening the efforts of NCDC to check the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

He explained that the goal of NCDC is to avoid the spread of the virus and to keep states with no-case or few cases exactly that way.