Nigeria conducts 5,000 coronavirus tests in 6 weeks

Ehanire said Nigeria will continue to expand its capacity to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Test tubes used for coronavirus tests at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa, Abuja [Twitter/@nighealthwatch]

Nigeria has recorded a total of 232 cases in 13 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja in almost six weeks, but many have expressed concerns over the country's low testing numbers.

While speaking during a media briefing on Monday, April 6, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said authorities are working hard to scale up capacity as soon as possible.

He said, "Through enhanced surveillance system and strengthened epidemic intelligence, we've continued to detect cases of COVID-19 and treat them to recovery.

"We have tested over 5,000 samples so far and are working hard to scale up capacity in a targeted approach."

The minister also announced that there will be discussions on making changes to public advisory over coronavirus because there's been an increase in confirmed cases who have no clear epidemiological definition.

While 101 (44%) of Nigeria's confirmed cases contracted the virus abroad, and 35 (15%) are contacts of those cases, 96 (41%) have incomplete epidemiological information, so it's unclear how they were infected.

"This (discussion) will be after the ministry of health and its agencies have sat down to review and analyse the situation," Ehanire said.

The minister also disclosed that two additional testing laboratories have been set up in Lagos and Abuja, while additional treatment centres with a minimum of 400 beds are under renovation and repair in Abuja.

He said authorities will continue to expand the country's capacity to test and manage patients.

33 of Nigeria's confirmed cases have recovered and been discharged, while five people have died.

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