NCDC attributes drop in COVID-19 cases to low tests

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THE Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) has explained that drop in number of COVID-19 cases in the country is only due to states not doing enough in testing.

 The Director General of the agency, Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known yesterday during Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.

According to the NCDC boss, the lesser number of COVID-19 cases is due to a lesser number of samples collected across the states.

He stressed the need for every local government to have a sample collection site in the country to improve the testing capacity.

The NDCD boss, represented at the briefing by the NCDC Head of Surveillance and Epidemiology Department, Elsie Ilori said, the testing labs were underutilised because the states were not collecting enough samples for the laboratory to test.

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 “As mentioned earlier, since the Sallah break, our confirmed cases have been very low compared to what we were having before but this is not because the numbers are getting low but because we are not collecting enough samples.”

He added, “If you notice, the number of samples collected during Salah was very low and we believe it was because of the festival season some labs even went on break, it shouldn’t have been. So, we’re working with the states to quickly address this so that we do not have this kind of situation again,”

The DG explained that the agency wants every local government to have a sample collection site in the country to improve the testing capacity.

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He further urged the states to prioritise testing and want Nigerians to present themselves for testing.

Ihekweazu also encouraged the use of face masks to avoid a spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country.

“I want to encourage us to use our mask properly and join us in the #MaskOn9ja, so that we can fight this COVID-19,” he said.

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