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General News of Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Source: sunnewsonline.com

Coronavirus: FG to roll out Rapid Diagnostic Test-Kits in Abuja

File photo: Federal Government logo File photo: Federal Government logo

The Federal Government is set to roll out Rapid Diagnostic Test-Kits (RDTs) in five tertiary health institutions in Abuja.

This followed the success recorded in using RDTs to test the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in their camps.

The RDTs typically give test result within a maximum of 30 minutes, unlike the PCR machines that can take between 24 to 72 hours or more to diagnose COVID-19 samples.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this at Monday’s media briefing.

According to him, this would be done next week.

Mustapha said that the current wave of infections is swift and virulent and that no one knows how long it will last.

"Besides, the facilities available for the treatment of critical cases remain very limited and we do not wish to be overwhelmed. Your best bet, therefore, is to avoid infections completely," Mustapha warned.

The SGF said the PTF has identified re-opening of schools, businesses and religious centres without compliance with safety measures had been responsible for increasing number of infections.

He also identified re-opening of airports and increased local and international travels as another source of spread of the second wave of the disease.

"It is, however, very instructive to stress that factors that have contributed to the rise in numbers from late November 2020 include an increased in local and international travels, business and religious activities, reopening of schools without strict compliance with COVID-19 safety measures.

"The full import of the fore-going is to press further on the need for us all to elevate the level of our vigilance and compliance with the recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions.

"The current wave of infections is swift and virulent and we do not know how long it will last. Besides, the facilities available for the treatment of critical cases remain very limited and we do not wish to be overwhelmed. Your best bet, therefore, is to avoid infections completely," he warned

Noting that the intensity of the new wave of infection is unlike the earlier one as it is swifter and deadlier, Mustapha warned Nigerians to be more vigilant as the capacity to respond to the speed of the spread might not be sufficient, adding that the best chance for every individual would be to ensure to avoid being infected.

On vaccine acquisition and management, the SGF said the PTF had made progress, noting also that great lessons had been learnt from countries and regions where earlier headstart had been made.

"PTF has advanced the preparation for the management of all aspects of the vaccines discuss. Particularly, lessons are being drawn from other jurisdictions on the successes and challenges of the vaccine administration," he said.

The Director-General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, also speaking on the roll-out of the RDTs, said:

"We are rolling out the use of RDTs in five institutions in Abuja. This will increase access to testing, we then intend to roll out across the country in February. This will make testing a lot more available to hospitals who perhaps health care workers themselves and patients are coming to these hospitals.

"You will remember that we used RDTs in NYSC camps across the country. We tested people coming in from every state in different states and we found positives among individuals that have reported to NYSC camps from every state in Nigeria. So there is no state that is spared of this virus, we would have been surprised if there were, but our data suggest that we were right in saying that there is COVID circulating in every single state in Nigeria and we all have to continue the hard work we have been doing."

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