COVID-19: NCDC begins door-to-door collection of samples in Lagos, FCT

Posted by News Express | 16 April 2020 | 492 times

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•NCDC DG, Dr. Ihekweazu

By MOSES EMORINKEN, Abuja

Persons with acute respiratory symptoms in certain communities in Lagos and Abuja will be contacted directly by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which begins door-to-door collection of samples.

This will help to overcome the bottlenecks in the testing capacity for coronavirus (COVID-19) as samples will be collected from the right persons and getting it into the labs for testing.

The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, made these known on Wednesday in Abuja at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

According to him: “We are really trying to change our strategy now and test more people.

“We are setting up 20 healthcare facilities in Lagos and supporting the state in doing this. This is done by the government of Lagos State to collect samples from people that have acute respiratory infection and fever.

“Also, we are intensifying our surveillance in healthcare centres around the FCT to collect samples from people with acute respiratory infections.

“In certain communities in Abuja, we are going door-to-door to collect samples from people that have acute respiratory infection.

“We are doing the same in Lagos. So in these two states where there are high incidents of infection, we are now strengthening our surveillance and going to the patients to collect these samples.

“The call centres have improved dramatically so we are also urging members of the public that think they have acute respiratory infection to call us, we will send the team to them. Please don’t go yourself, and if you are going, go to one of these 20 health facilities.

“Don’t go to any other centre. We will announce them as they are setup; Lagos State will announce them and then, make them accessible to everyone.”

Concerning the usage of face masks, the NCDC boss added: “There is a chronic global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks.

“50 percent of all the masks in the world are produced in China. The good thing is that they are now restarting their production and thankfully, some of those things are coming out.

“We are really looking for local manufacturers of PPE to procure from them. Every hand sanitiser procured by the Federal Government is supplied by a local manufacturer.

“The demand for masks is very high, and even with a lot of resources, a country like Nigeria is not able to meet the demands of everyone. There is no way we can supply masks to everybody in Nigeria right now.

“The wearing of masks or equivalent is recommended as an optional additional layer, in addition to measures like social distancing, physical distancing and hand and hygiene measures.”


Source: News Express

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