Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has his temperature checked during a diplomatic meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has his temperature checked during a diplomatic meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed six of its testing centres for diagnosing the coronavirus infection.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of the NCDC, disclosed that the six centres are equipped with molecular laboratories with the capacity to detect coronavirus (COVID-19).

Meanwhile, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, there were only five laboratories with such capacity.

The facilities are; the NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory (Abuja), Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Redeemers University Nigeria (Ogun), Lagos University Teaching Hospital and Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, (Lagos).

Ihekweazu, however, said that the NCDC has extended its capacity to include the Virology Laboratory of the University College Hospital (Ibadan).

NCDC Molecular Laboratory Network

NCDC Molecular Laboratory Network

He said; “Currently, samples from cases that meet the case definition are collected by the State Epidemiology Team, and transported through a defined process funded by NCDC, from the state to one of the testing laboratories.

“The inclusion of one more laboratory will increase the capacity to detect cases in the country. NCDC Team will be in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, to set up COVID-19 testing capacity, in the existing Molecular laboratory within the state,” he said.

”Each laboratory costs about 150 million naira to build and equip initially, and millions of naira to maintain functionality.

“Our strategy is to find cases quickly, isolate, follow up with contacts and treat these cases. We are working very hard to flatten the curve in Nigeria,” he added.

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