COVID-19: FG targets 2m tests in three months, tells Nigerians what to expect


The federal government Tuesday urged Nigerians to be prepared to adapt to the new ways of living forced on the human race by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Boss Mustapha, said there was the need for Nigerians to continue to adhere to measures issued by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The PTF also implore Nigerians to please continue to adhere to the restriction orders. The relaxation of the lockdown is to enable us gradually return to our daily lives but in a moderated manner. The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered our ways of life and we must begin to learn how to adjust to this new reality.


“This relaxation does not in any way imply that the danger has passed. The virus is still potent, virulent and dangerous. We must remain very vigilant and careful. We must take responsibility for our actions. We must commit to a collective victory over COVID-19,” he said.


Also speaking, Director-General of National Center for for Disease Control Mr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the federal government is making efforts to ensure that two million Nigerians across the country are tested for coronavirus in the next three months.
He said the federal government targets mass testing about 50,000 persons per state.


He said the immediate tarted is to avoid a single case in the four states still without any reported case of COVID-19.
He said government was making efforts to avoid transmission, infections and to keep the states with no case or few cases exactly that way.
He said Nigeria has learnt from countries that the only way to achieve this is to test many people.
“The laboratory strategic group that is responding to this outbreak has set itself a target of testing two million people in the next three months. This is a very ambitious target. We are working very hard with our development partners and all our friends to equip our labs to be able to do this.
“It is going to cost us a lot of money but we can’t do this without a lot of collaboration from everybody. A country that has achieved a lot more in terms of testing is South Africa. Not only that they have tested more, they have tested more as a proportion of their population.
“We are lagging behind, but now we have to catch up. So, when I referred to this, it is really an epidemiological indicator of how well a response is doing. In order to test two million people in three months across the country, we need to test about 50,000 per state plus-minus, depending on your population size.


“There is no other way we can do this, we need cooperation and collaboration of every state government in Nigeria, every department of public health, and we need the collaboration of the people living in these states,” he said.
He said Nigeria has 1,337 confirmed COVID-19 cases out of which 255 persons have been treated and discharged while 40 deaths have been recorded. 

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