The Federal Executive Council says Nigeria has obtained reagents needed for testing and detection of Coronavirus.
Coronavirus, found in Wahum, China, has spread to the US, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Philippines among others, is a new strain of virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ehanire said: “Since about eight days ago, we obtained the reagents necessary; we have the machines; they are called Polymerase Chain Reaction machines, which we have here for molecular diagnostics, but we didn’t have the reagents.
“Because for every pathogen, you have a specific pathogen that you will use to detect it and that one for Coronavirus, being a new disease, was not very much available, but we acquired it about eight days ago.
“And now three laboratories in Nigeria can test Coronavirus and in fact, they have tested two cases already, which were negative – Lagos, Abuja and Irrua.
“Irrua, as you know is Nigeria’s Centre of Excellence for this Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers which is the category to which Corona virus and Lassa fever belong particularly.”
On why the virus had not been reported in Africa, Ehanire said that for a disease to enter a place, somebody or something must carry it.
He said that a person could bring a disease while an animal might carry it as in the case of mosquitoes for malaria and rats for Lassa fever.