By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
On Sunday, Nigerian health officials reported an additional 436 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours from nineteen states.
This brings the total COVID-19 cases to 20,244. The death toll in the African country now stands at 518.
Lagos state has reported 8576 cases and 126 deaths, the most of any state.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is leading the expansion of testing capacity for COVID-19 in Nigeria. As part of the national strategy to scale up COVID-19 testing published in March 2020, we are leveraging GeneXpert equipment currently used for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. The use of GeneXpert will significantly scale-up testing for COVID-19 and improve turn-around time for results in the country.
There are 400 sites in Nigeria with GeneXpert equipment for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Eventually, NCDC plans to roll out the GeneXpert testing sites for COVID-19 in every state in Nigeria.
Lastly, the Premium Times reports how a a professor of molecular biology and genomics at African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) has set to deploy rapid diagnostic test kits, using paper strips, to trigger a regime of mass testing across the continent.
Christian Happi said, “The good thing about this test is that it takes only thirty minutes and can be administered by anyone, anywhere, unlike the PCR test which takes about 7-8 hours and require the use of heavy machinery.”
The new diagnostic test offers more than time-saving value to the patient, it offers significant out of pocket value to the patient. “While a PCR test costs $125 (N48,838), the paper strip test will cost only $3 (N1,163),” Mr Happi told PREMIUM TIMES, adding, “It is fast, reliable, affordable, and very comparable to PCR.”
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