The Federal Government has raised the alarm over what it described as the low level of COVID-19 tests in most States across the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, raised the concern in Abuja.
This, he regretted, is affecting the national COVID-19 response.
According to him: “Data shows that despite the resources already made available to sub-national entities, testing is very low across States in varying degrees. This is not helping our National Response. Indeed, some States have not reported any infections in several weeks.
“Reports received also point to the fact that laboratories recently established in the States are not working optimally.
“You will recall that we moved from two laboratories to about 90 (public & private) located in all states of the Federation.
“Their inability to function optimally has resulted in unacceptable levels of delay in receiving results and pressure on the National Reference Labs.
“We wish to urge all States to reopen all laboratories and ensure that testing is expanded and turnaround time for results is substantially reduced. In the same vein, States should please keep their Isolation/Treatment Centres open because of the rising cases of infection nationwide.
“ The PTF has worked out additional quarantine protocols to be observed by travelers arriving from the UK and South Africa.
“This is in keeping with our determination to minimize any possibility of importation of the virus.
“The new policy started from Monday, December 28, 2020.
Key changes, he said, included requirement for passengers for two additional documents; permit to travel/QR code obtained from the travel portal after payment for the day seven post-arrival test; and COVID 19 PCR negative test with a validity now shortened to 96 hours or 4 days.
The SGF insisted that the PTF “shall remain vigilant on this matter and our relevant agencies are also working on the sequencing to determine the strain found.”