Lagos Approves Seven Private Labs for COVID-19 Tests

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Martins Ifijeh

As part of efforts to expand COVID-19 testing capacity across Lagos State, the state government has approved seven private laboratories to commence sample analysis for the virus.

The laboratories are: Total Medical Services, SynLab, 54 Gene, Medbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services and Clina Lancent Laboratories.

In a statement issued last night, the state Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi said the laboratories were selected and approved to carry out COVID-19 testing after a rigorous accreditation and validation process by the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) and the Lagos State Bio-Bank.

He said: “A key element in the next phase of the state’s response strategy is to expand diagnostic testing to strategically ensure a larger number of people have access to COVID-19 test. We have developed an inclusive strategy that aims to harness the public and private sectors to rapidly expand the state’s capacity to meet the growing demand for testing in the next stage of biosecurity road map.

“We recognise the need to expand our testing, especially to the local government areas that are most affected by the community transmission of the virus and as Lagos State continuously manages the public crises caused by COVID19, it simultaneously attempts to open up various aspects of its economy. Both efforts make it imperative that COVID19 tests are widely available to members of the public.

“In a bid to ramp up our testing capacity, we have taken a strategic decision to include private laboratories in the testing of COVID-19. However, the state’s COVID-19 response will remain a centrally managed emergency response by the government and the need to test will be surveillance driven and based on a clear case definition.”

Abayomi added that the state has also identified potential opportunities to achieve its goal of expanded testing via a carefully articulated framework.

He stressed that recognition of the potential opportunities was what led to the partnership with the private sector laboratories to rapidly increase diagnostic testing for COVID-19 response.