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'We don't have infrastructure to scale up coronavirus testing,' NCDC boss says

Ihekweazu says it's currently difficult for Nigeria to step up testing based on available resources.

Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, says the agency is doing its best with available resources to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country [Tribune]

Nigeria has 65 confirmed cases of the disease that's sweeping the world, but the country has only tested 262 people in one month. The low rate of testing has raised concerns about what could be the true spread of the disease around the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed that increased testing is the best way to detect and contain the virus.

However, while speaking during an interview on Arise TV on Friday, March 27, 2020, Ihekweazu said it's currently difficult for Nigeria to step up testing based on resources available.

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"The global message is tests tests tests, but there are several limitations we have," he noted.

The NCDC boss said the country is strictly sticking to only the molecular testing that is approved by the WHO. He noted that none of the rapid testing kits being offered by private bodies work reliably enough to be accepted.

He said the Federal Government has released more funds to improve efforts, but that the hope is more effective rapid testing kits can be developed in good time.

"There's no magic bullet. This is science," he said.

Nigeria has confirmed 65 coronavirus cases in nine states - Lagos (44), FCT (11), Ogun (3), Ekiti (1), Oyo (1), Edo (1), Bauchi (2), Osun (1), and Rivers (1).

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One of the cases died earlier this week, but a total of three people have made full recoveries and discharged.

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