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Nigeria’s testing capacity very low, NMA, nurses, others warn

Some professional associations in the health sector on Sunday said Nigeria must step up its testing capacity to successfully battle the spread of COVID-19.

The groups, including the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said it was not enough for the federal and state governments to impose lockdown on citizens without ensuring that those who had been infected with the virus were fished out and tested.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on March 29, ordered lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states to trace and treat people that had contracted coronavirus.

Some state governments, including Osun,  Rivers, Katsina and Kwara, on their own also ordered lockdown of their states.

According to www.worldometers.info, as of 10pm on Sunday, Nigeria had tested 5,000 people, while 37,954  persons were tested in Ghana. On the other hand, South Africa had tested 80,085 of its citizens.

The World Health Organisation had, last week said there was an urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing in Africa. It advised that testing must go beyond cities.

When COVID-19 was first recorded in the country on February 27, Nigeria had five centres, where the virus could be tested. The centres were increased to 10 on Friday.

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