The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that Nigeria has increased its daily testing capacity for COVID-19 to over 3,500/day.
The Minister disclosed this at the daily COVID-19 PTF press briefing on Thursday. He said the country is worried about schools reopening and flights resumption, as there may be a surge in cases if Nigeria does not improve testing and contact tracing.
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Our testing and tracing capabilities have improved a lot, such that every state of the Federation has least one laboratory. -HMoH @DrEOEhanire
— Fed Min of Info & Cu (@FMICNigeria) October 8, 2020
“We are especially worried, about huge COVID increases in certain countries with which we have high volume of human traffic. The Federal Ministry of Health therefore wishes to advise Nigerians against non-essential travel to high burden countries,” he said.
He added that the risk created by the movement of people could be countered mainly through improved surveillance programs, and that the government had added more testing labs across the nation to deal with the capacity.
“I wish to specially solicit that all travelers, especially arriving passengers, cooperate with border authorities to protect our people & also our health system from stress.
“Our testing and tracing capabilities have improved a lot, such that every state of the Federation has least one laboratory.
“That has increased our daily testing capacity to over 3,500/day. We are, however, still testing well below that capacity, because laboratories are receiving fewer samples than they could handle, leaving some partners to doubt our reports.”
He urged state governments to improve sample collection and also urged citizens that had come in contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 to submit themselves for testing.