Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu has criticised the federal government for its low number of coronavirus tests carried out in one month, says 2,000 is not enough.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekwazu had said that only 2,000 Nigerians have been tested for COVID 19 in the last one month.
Reacting to the NCDC boss statement, the minority leader, in a statement signed by him and issued to Journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the figure was grossly insufficient for a country of 200 million people.
Okechukwu therefore charged the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to urgently upgrade the 34 Polymerase Chain Reaction PCR laboratories to COVID-19 centres for mass testing.
The awmaker however hailed the total lock-down initiative in some parts of the country, stating that the country must also rapidly ramp up its testing capabilities to expand beyond the current seven test centres in order to successfully track down the over 6,000 COVID-19 contacts.
The statement reads: “The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has told us that only 2,000 Nigerians have been tested in over one month of combating COVID-19. This figure is quite low for a country of about 200 million people.
“Our first line of responsibility on this, therefore, is to ensure that testing services are available in, at least, all the states of the federation. If we are tracking over 6,000 contacts, then we need more testing facilities.
“We just have to scale it up across the country to enable us to ascertain the true extent of the outbreak in the country. Let us know how many Nigerians that are exposed, let us isolate, and let us test maximally.”
Okechukwu also thanked all the donors and urged the Presidential Task Force to be project-specific with the donations, paying attention to such facility upgrades.
He further commended the joint efforts of all Nigerians in the public and private sectors, especially the nation’s healthcare professionals, who he said were in the frontlines of the war against the pandemic and called on all Nigerians to adhere to all the guidelines and directives issued by NCDC and various levels of government to stop the spread of the virus.
As at 08:00 pm 1st April there are 174 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Nine have been discharged with two deaths, according to records of NCDC.
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