The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the country is in desperate need of more coronavirus testing kits.
Ihekweazu stated this on his Twitter page, where he equally he gave specification of the test kits Nigeria was looking for and preferred manufacturers.
According to him, Nigeria needed to stock more of the RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) extraction kits to cater for the expansion of its COVID-19 testing capacity.
“We’re desperately looking for more RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) extraction kits as we expand #COVID19 testing. Product: Total viral RNA extraction kits (preferably spin column and with a lysis buffer). Manufacturers: Qiagen, ThermoFischer, SeeGene, Inqaba, LifeRiver etc.”
We’re desperately looking for more RNA extraction kits as we expand #COVID19 testing
Product: Total viral RNA extraction kits (preferably spin column and with a lysis buffer)
Manufacturers: Qiagen, ThermoFischer, SeeGene, Inqaba, LifeRiver etc.
— Chikwe Ihekweazu (@Chikwe_I) April 26, 2020
The NCDC DG’s call for more kits came amid increasing criticisms that the centre was not responding to demands of Nigerians, who desperately sought testing.
In a recent video on social media, a grandmother, Salma Ahmed had alleged that the NCDC failed to pick her telephone calls, when she wanted to seek the agency’s assistance for her son-in-law, who later died of COVID-19 in Kano.
In the video released from her home in Abuja, Ahmed said her son-in-law was left to die from the virus in Kano after suffering neglect in the hands of the NCDC officials.
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebu-Olu Adegboruwa had, in a statement last week, said his friend who had difficulty in breathing, was told at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos to wait till next week.
Nigeria lagging behind other African countries in conducting coronavirus test.
As of Sunday, Ghana with 1,550 confirmed cases and a population of 30.9 million people had conducted 100,622 tests.
South Africa with 4,361 confirmed cases and a population of 59.1 million people conducted 161,000 tests.
Also, Egypt with 4,319 confirmed cases and a population of 101.9 million people conducted 90,000 tests.
Djibouti with 1,023 confirmed cases and a population of 985,433 conducted 11,741 tests.
Kenya with 355 confirmed cases and a population of 53.5 million conducted 17,492 tests.
But Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with over 200 million people had only tested 10,061 persons, out of which 1,182 have been confirmed positive.
This development has also helped Senegal to record the highest recovery rate in Africa so far and the 3rd in the world ahead of countries like the United States and France.