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Health

‘Testing is our weakest response’

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has said that testing for COVID-19 remains one of the weakest parts of Nigeria’s response to combating the deadly pandemic.

Ihekweazu, who spoke on Wednesday in an interview on a TV programme, said his agency is working aggressively to increase the testing across the country, especially in line with its ambitious target to test two million people in three months.

He said: “We are working very aggressively to increase the testing in Nigeria. This is one of the weakest parts of our response because we started from a very low base initially, but we have worked extremely hard to move from five to 35 laboratories right now with their ability to test for COVID-19.

“We have carried out the highest number of test over the last few days and we will keep increasing this progressively across the country.

“Testing is such an important entry point in the response because of the number of asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic infections that we have. We have to really ramp up our testing because it is an eye into the outbreak. We can’t manage something we can’t measure sufficiently.

“We also have our eyes on the future because we never want to be in a situation that we are right now. The Africa Centre for Disease Control has been a great support for this.”

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