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Covid-19: Reps want testing centre in every local government

*Summon Health Minister, PTF, NCDC

By Anthony Isaac

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to scale up Nigeria’s testing capacity for the Coronavirus by setting up testing centres in every local government area in the country.

The House also summoned the Presidential Task Force (PTF) Covid-19, the Minister of Health and Director-General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to appear and brief the members on the efforts by the Federal Government to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The House which resumed plenary on Tuesday in Abuja has been on break following the outbreak of the Covid-19 in the country in March.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila in his ruling approved an investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the unexplained huge number of deaths in Kano State.

The summon was issued following the unanimous adoption of a motion of Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC-Kano).

Doguwa in his motion recalled that index Covid-19 case was reported on Feb. 27, 2020 in Nigeria and that the country had so far recorded 1,337 confirmed cases of the virus, 40 deaths and 255 recoveries.

He said that the Federal Government had released N5 billion to NCDC to scale up capacity and strategise on rapid response to the pandemic.

He expressed worry over the rising spate of unexplained deaths in Kano State in recent weeks, as 77 COVID-19 confirmed cases had been recorded there.

He noted that Kano State being the most populated state of the Federation, according to the National Population Commission, has only one testing centre.

The lawmaker said that the centre had been shut down for about a week now, reportedly due to lack of some testing materials and reagents.

He expressed concern that Nigeria had so far tested 10,918 of its estimated 200 million population whereas Ghana, South Africa and Egypt with much lower population had tested 168,643, 100,622, and 90,000 of their people respectively.

He said: “Conscious of the fact that whereas sample collection and transportation remain in a critical challenge in Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19.

“According to NCDC, Ghana has since engaged the services of drone technology in the delivery of samples to help save lives more quickly and drones also have the capacity to deliver test kits and personal protection equipment.

“Convinced of the urgent need to arrest the rising cases of unexplained deaths in Kano state and also scale up national response to the Coronavirus pandemic, including the establishment of at least one testing centre in every state of the Federation to save the nation from the grave scenario being witnessed in Kano State.

“Summon the DG NCDC, the Minister of Health, and the Chairman of the Presidential Task force to appear before the House at plenary on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 to brief it on government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its template for the intervention in all the states of the Federation”.

The lawmakers urged the NCDC to adopt creatively proactive modern approaches and technologies in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Written by ExpressDay

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