Following what he described as the slow pace of the COVID-19 testing process, the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, has called on the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to speed up the coronavirus testing process in Nigeria. By this, Obi said he believed that a greater percentage of the population would be tested within a short time and by so doing, the government would easily ascertain the true number of people who were infected with the virus and thus take a better and more practicable approach to combating the pandemic.
Obi who spoke on Channels TV last Wednesday, April 15, acknowledged the NCDC and other relevant health agencies for what he described as the good work they were doing, while urging them to add more speed to their testing process so as to get more people tested.
Calling on the Federal Government to establish testing centres in every state of the country, Obi said it would speed things up by easing off the burden on the few testing centres currently available in the country.
‘South Africa has tested over 80,000 people out of which 2,000 were discovered to be infected with the virus; 2.5% of those tested. Ghana has carried out about 38,000 COVID-19 tests, and about 566 tested positive for coronavirus; about 1.5% of the people tested.
‘In Nigeria, we have tested over 6,000 people, with over 300 positive cases, showing that over 5% of the people tested are positive. So we need to do speedy and aggressive testing to help us to effectively curb the spread of the virus,’ Obi explained.
He also said the Federal Government could make the fight against the pandemic easier for state governments by helping them to establish testing and isolation centres.
‘The Federal Government gave Lagos State and Abuja, 10 billion naira and 5 billion naira respectively, they could have as well given each state 2 billion naira each to help them set up testing and isolation centres easily,’ he said.
Obi opined that the country could only get the true picture of the number of people infected with the virus if it did more aggressive testing by getting more people tested.
By Uche Amunike