COVID-19: FG to convert eligible hospitals to sample collection sites

The Federal Government is set to convert all “eligible” public and private hospitals nationwide to COVID-19 sample collection sites.

This, according to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, will require working with state governments and the National Primary Health Care and Development Agency (NPHCDA) to identify the facilities and space within them.

Ehanire made this known even as he stated that in the month of June alone, a total of 15,532 cases were confirmed from 74,580 tests, with 303 deaths on record.

The minister, who was speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday, said it was the plan of the Ministry of Health to boost overall COVID-19 sample collection, by preparing all eligible public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection sites.

Besides identifying the facilities and space in their areas, the minister said the state governments and the NPHCDA, “will also conduct training for the personnel selected and supply both PPEs and sample collection kits, as well as the logistics to go around to recover test samples.”

He pointed out that the move will lead to better utilisation of available laboratory assets in the country, which are now capable of handling far more cases than they presently do.

He said: “If logistics around sample collection and delivery to testing sites are better organised, a lot more will be achieved. However, the more we test, the more confirmed cases we shall find, of which the vulnerable will have to be prioritized for admission to treatment centers, even if they are not yet showing symptoms.

“States will be encouraged to use all opportunities to isolate other asymptomatic cases who may not qualify for supervised self Isolation, for the period they are deemed to be infectious or are at risk of infecting the vulnerable. It will also mean scaling up treatment and Isolation centres in states and the logistics for managing them.”

On the increasing cases of COVID-19, the minister said in the month of June alone, a total of 15,532 cases were confirmed from 74,580 tests, with 303 deaths on record.

As of today 6th of July 2020, he stated that Nigeria has recorded a total of 28,711 confirmed COVID-19 cases, out of 152,952 tests conducted, of which 11,665 have been treated successfully and discharged; adding, “we have regrettably recorded 645 fatalities.”

He said that government is running testing for COVID-19 free, and called on Nigerians to report anyone who demands payment for necessary action.

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