Why we stopped testing for COVID-19 in Kano —Ehanire

The Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire on Wednesday explained that testing for COVID-19 disease was stopped in Kano because some persons working in the laboratory got infected, necessitating a shut down so the laboratory could be de-contaminated.

The minister, who spoke during the press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said another reason was the scarcity of reagents in the lab, which he said had been supplied to the centre.

Ehanire said: “As for the testing in Kano, there was a report that they had reduced availability of reagents and they were supplied that.

“In addition to that, there was a temporary halt in activities because some of the work persons in the laboratory got infected and the laboratory had to be shut down for decontamination, which was just temporary. With regard to supplies of reagents, they had been replenished. They now have personal protective equipment (PPE) and reagents.

Speaking on the important role of primary health care in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said it was important for primary health care to be able to do surveillance and raise the index of suspicion since the nation is already in the community transmission phase.

“The role of primary health care is very important in this exercise in the sense that now we are in the community transmission phase. We have passed that era when people used to think that the coronavirus infection was something for rich people who came from abroad.

“Now that it has gotten to the community transmission level, it is really down to the grassroots, and the role of the primary health care comes into play. It is very important for them to be able to do surveillance and raise the index of suspicion.

“We are doing targeted testing, and right now, cluster testing has been very helpful in being able to identify places; that’s why you see so many of them now being discovered in the Lagos area and also in Abuja”, Ehanire said.

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