The private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 has donated more extraction kits and silicon swabs to the National Centre for Disease Control to increase the number of COVID-19 tests by 32,500 in the country.
CACOVID at the weekend released 140 extraction kits, which translates to 14,000 tests to help the Nigerian Government tackle and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
Concerned that the availability of test kits has become a challenge in fighting the pandemic, CACOVID will be releasing additional 110 kits, which is equal to 18,500 tests to NCDC in the next two weeks, it was learnt.
Speaking at the handover of the test kits to NCDC, the Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank PLC, Herbert Wigwe, said before the end of May, CACOVID would have brought in enough kits to increase testing by 32,500.
He said the reality of the situation at hand was such that efforts must be put together with no stone left unturned in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Wigwe pledged CACOVID’s support to fight the spread of coronavirus in Kano and other northern parts of the country.
“We will continue to pull together resources across industries to provide technical and operational support, while providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives to tackle the menace of COVID-19 in the country,” he added.
He explained that CACOVID is tasked with the responsibility of mobilising the private sector through leadership and resources, creating public awareness, and directing support to private and public healthcare institutions in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
The Deputy Director, Central Public Health Laboratory, NCDC, Olajumoke Babatunde, commended CACOVID for the provision of test kits to increase Nigeria’s testing capacity.
According to her, the donation is coming at a very critical period, where the country needs more test kits to determine the number of cases in Nigeria.
She said: “We will not able to know the status of a COVID-19 patient without testing.
“When we have kits available and we are able to test on time, we will be able to meet our turnaround time and this will translate to prompt diagnosis and treatment.
“Early diagnosis and treatment will lead to decrease of the spread of the virus in the country.
“The test kits that CACOVID has donated will go a long way in helping us to achieve our goal as an organisation.
“With more of such donations, our work at NCDC will be easier.”