No state is COVID-19-free, NCDC insists - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

No state is COVID-19-free, NCDC insists

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By Our Correspondent

 The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has insisted that no state is COVID-19-free in the country, noting that this was the reason tests were being carried out.


The centre disclosed that seven states presently have no testing facilities, adding that by next week, the nation would be covered in terms of testing.

 The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, noted that efforts were ongoing by the state governments to address the challenge.

 Reacting to claims that some states are free of the virus, the DG said, “No single state is COVID-19-free. No country in the world, even New Zealand that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having new cases.”

 “So, right now, no state is COVID-19-free, that is why we have to keep doing this work that we are doing; testing people, finding out if they have it even if you don’t have it, you can spread it. If you are asymptomatic, you live with others that are more vulnerable, they can get it.

 “At the moment, it is very difficult to reduce the testing period to more than seven hours for conventional, and more than three hours to Gene Xpert. The technology just doesn’t allow for that yet and that’s why we are looking for rapid diagnostic test kits that worked,” Ihekweazu stated.