May 28, 2020

COVID-19: NCDC striving to increase PCR capacity for testing across Nigeria – DG


Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC DG.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, NCDC DG.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is working hard to increase its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) capacity for testing the coronavirus disease outbreak in the country.

The Director-General of the centre, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, announced this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.

that PCR is a method widely used in molecular biology to rapidly make billions of copies of a specific DNA sample.

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It allows scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.

Ihekweazu said that samples being transported to the laboratory were badly packaged and leaking that it made the whole efforts useless.

“COVIC-19 has invested 47 million people on sample transportation and we have trained over 8,000 to get this right in the country from the collection of the sample to the laboratories,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the DG said there was no dilemma in the two index COVID-19 cases in Kogi.

He added that the laboratory test for one of the patients, at the National Hospital, was done following standard practice while the patient tested positive.

“Contacts tracing will be carried out.’’

Ihekweazu said that NCDC would also publish the 11 high incidence local governments areas that were responsible for 50 per cent of the virus cases in the country and that would guide the actions of the government in the coming days.

In his address, The Director-General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Prof. Stanley Okolo, said that WAHO had not endorsed the Madagascar herbal cure.

He said it was, however, working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to evaluate the various claims of cure for the COVID-19 infection.