NCDC says no plans to transport Covid-19 samples interstate

NCDC says no plans to transport Covid-19 samples interstate

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has debunked claims to transport samples to states for coronavirus testing.

It came after comments by the “Commissioners of Information and Health in Cross River State”, the centre said.

There has been concern about coronavirus testing using GeneXpert machines, which are currently used in tuberculosis diagnosis.

NCDC says using the machines will “significantly scale up” testing for Covid-19 and improve turn-around time.


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Up to 400 sites have the GeneXpert equipment for TB diagnosis.

But converting it to be used for coronavirus testing is only in states with high level of community transmission and states with limited or no laboratory capacity for coronavirus diagnosis, the NCDC said.

“These are Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Lagos, Enugu, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Benue, and the FCT,” NCDC said in clarification issued on Saturday.

Two GeneXpert sites have been activated in Kaduna and Nasarawa.

And there are plans to roll out GeneXpert testing sites for Covid-19 in every state.

“The statements by the Cross River Commissioners of Information and Health are a misinterpretation of the Federal Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 testing strategy and efforts to protect the health of Nigerians from this disease,” the centre said.

“We would like to state unequivocally, that there is no plan to transport positive samples from one state to the other.”

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