How NCDC's 'depleted test kits' may hamper Nigeria's fight against COVID-19

Since the index case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Nigeria, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), assisted by the government's strict implementation of movement restriction, has been able to manage the COVID-19 situation in the country to a degree of satisfaction. The progressive recovery and low death rate of COVID-19 patients have not gone unnoticed as some attribute this result to the efficiency of Nigeria's health workers who are at the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.

However, a tweet by the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu which suggested a shortage of COVID-19 test kits in the country raised concerns about how this could hamper Nigeria's fight against the pandemic.

"We're desperately looking for more RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) extraction kits as we expand #COVID 19 testing. Product: Total viral RNA extraction kits (preferably spin column and with a lysis buffer). Manufacturers: Qiagen, ThermoFischer, SeeGene, Inqaba, LifeRiver, etc," Ihekweazu tweeted

With just about 11,000 tests conducted so far, most people have been expecting a ramp-up in the COVID-19 test, but the shortage of test kits seems to have slowed down the pace. Ihekweazu had earlier announced during a press briefing, that two more laboratories have been added to the 13 that already existed in the country. And that this has increased Nigeria's testing capacity to 2000 per day in Lagos and 4000 per day across the country.

But as many people raised questions about the issue of the availability of test kits and how this will affect the COVID-19 test in Nigeria, Dr. Ihekweazu replied his earlier tweet by sending out appreciation to everyone who has been helping the country overcome the challenge of COVID-19.

"Very grateful to everyone who reached out to solve this challenge with us. Our support to each other, even when done quietly, will enable us pull through. One day, we will tell the story of this response in full. For now, we #keeppushing," he tweeted.

The post How NCDC's 'depleted test kits' may hamper Nigeria's fight against COVID-19 appeared first on Neusroom.