COVID-19: Society Wants FG to Extend Testing Laboratories to All States 


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The Nigerian Infectious Diseases Society (NIDS) has called on the Federal Government to extend COVID-19 testing laboratories to all states of the country.

The group also suggested for at least a minimum of one laboratory per geopolitical zone.
Prof. Dimie Ogoina, the President of NIDS, made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
NIDS is a multi-disciplinary professional society consisting of infectious diseases specialists, clinical microbiologists, public health practitioners and other healthcare workers and researchers.
Members of the NIDS are currently actively engaged in the containment and response to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases outbreaks across the country.
According to Ogoina, the poor preparedness of most states was evident by the lack or poor state of isolation facilities, limited clinical competencies and self-confidence by healthcare workers to manage active cases of COVID-19.
He expressed concerns about the lack of required equipment such as functional ventilators in most designated COVID-19 treatment centres.
The don noted that the national response to the outbreak is currently being pro-actively spearheaded by the NCDC and the Lagos State Government.
“NIDS is concerned that most states of the Federation are not adequately prepared to respond to the outbreak if more cases are reported, especially outside Lagos.
“The spread of misinformation, fear and panic among the general population, including healthcare workers, might foreclose factual, science-based and clear-sighted decisions on the outbreak by relevant stakeholders.
“The Federal and State Governments and the NCDC should as much
as possible follow the reasonable and evidence-based guidelines of the WHO,” he said.
Ogoina also called on the federal government and relevant health authorities to extend surveillance for suspected COVID-19 cases to land and sea borders.
He said this was key as the likelihood of importation of the virus to Nigeria was not limited to air travels since COVID-19 was a global pandemic with cases reported in neighbouring countries.
The NIDS, however, commended the federal government and Lagos State Government as well as other government agencies involved in the COVID-19 response for strengthening the country’s level of preparedness.

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