THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has moved to increase the number of COVID-19 testing centers in its network with the inclusion of the Accunalysis Diagnostic Centre, Anambra State as the 26th.
With plans to ensure that there is a laboratory for the testing of COVID-19 in each state, the Agency said that work is already in progress in Katsina, Kwara and Gombe states to add them to the National COVID-19 Laboratory Network.
Testing conducted through a laboratory within the NCDC network is offered free of charge.
In the meantime, for states where there is no laboratory, samples are transported to the nearest state with a laboratory for testing of COVID-19.
With the current turnaround time for tests set at between 48-96 hours, NCDC hopes that every state having a testing center will enhance access to testing and shorten the time for confirmation of results.
According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria, the NCDC, Sunday, recorded 338 new cases of COVID-19 in 18 states bringing the number of infections in Nigeria to 5959.
The NCDC revealed that six new patients have been confirmed dead to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 182.
A breakdown of the new 338 cases shows that Lagos State, with 177 has the highest number if cases fro lower by Kano(64), FCT(21), Rivers(16), Plateau(14), Oyo(11), Katsina(9), Jigawa (4), Kaduna (4), Abia(3), Bauchi(3), Borno(3),Gombe(2), Akwa Ibom(2), Delta(2), Ondo(1), Kebbi(1), Sokoto(1).
The health agency said that till date, there are 4183 Active Cases, 1594 cases have been discharged and 182 deaths have been recorded in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NCDC has advised that: “If you are showing known symptoms of COVID-19 or believe you are a close contact of a confirmed case, call your state helpline.
“The state officials will advise on the nearest testing centre or advise if a trained health worker will come to you to collect your sample.”
NCDC said that it also has created a directory of all state helplines, which can be accessed on its website https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/contact.
The health agency said that one of the most important things Nigerians needed to remember while awaiting their test result is that the need to protect their loved ones.
“While awaiting your results, it is important to self-isolate from friends and family. Practice frequent hand washing; wear a face mask to limit the spread of infection to your loved ones and others; and ensure the home environment is properly and frequently cleaned with disinfectant.
“If you test positive or negative for COVID-19, you must continue to adhere to preventive measures as recommended by the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC,” it advised.