Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC has disclosed on his Twitter handle that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), is set to validate the capacity of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), to test for the novel Coronavirus.
LUTH is one of the five functional molecular laboratories for testing samples from the South-West states of Nigeria. The center said the five laboratories have the capacity to diagnose Lassa fever in the country and each laboratory costs about 100 million Naira to equip initially, and millions of Naira to maintain functionality.
“We have set up capacity to make diagnosis of Coronavirus in Abuja and would do the same in Lagos this week. Lagos and Abuja are our main points of entry,” he said.
He also said the Centre has agreed on an initial national case definition to identify suspected cases.
The NCDC, Port Health Services and State Epidemiologists are aware of the process for identification and confirmation.
“We‘ll review these criteria as additional information on the Coronavirus becomes available,” he stated.
He said that NCDC has given advisories to Nigerians on the novel Coronavirus and how to protect themselves.
The Center has also published frequently asked questions on the novel Coronavirus to keep Nigerians informed.
“Since the emergence of the novel Coronavirus, we have been working everyday to learn as quickly as possible about this new virus.
“Ongoing research on its transmissibility and virulence will determine our response across Nigeria,” he stated.
According to him, NCDC is one of the few trailblazing organisations on the continent with technical expertise and clear mandate to protect the health of Nigerians from threats of infectious diseases like the novel Coronavirus and Lassa fever.
He advised Nigerians if they experience symptoms of Coronavirus such as respiratory illness, restlessness or cough within 14 days of travel to China they should contact NCDC immediately on Its toll-free number – 0800-970000-10.