Wednesday, April 15, 2020 10:11 am
A Professor of Virology and former Vice Chancellor, Redeemers University, Prof. Tomori Oyewole, has faulted the case definition protocol being used by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, for testing for COVID-19.
Oyewole, who was among the panelists at Arise News Channel Global Briefing on COVID-19 on Tuesday said the protocol has been responsible for the low number of testing for Covid-19 done in the country so far.
NCDC said about 5000 covid-19 tests have been conducted in the country so far, a number considered very paltry when compared to other countries.
The Professor of Virology warned that the low level of testing may prolong lockdown of Nigeria if the process is not quickened up.
According to Oyewole the case definition protocol of the federal government made it difficult for NCDC to test a high number of Nigerians who have been clamouring to have their samples tested for the disease.
He said: “NCDC said you must have come down with one or more symptoms of the disease before you can be tested. The problem with this case definition is that there are a lot of persons who will not come down with the symptoms even though they are infected.
“These categories of persons have the capacity to infect people around them. So, if the government ignores such persons, be rest assured that our infection rate will increase and the lockdown will continue for several months.
“The incubation period for the disease is one to 14 days. It can fully incubate in any of those days. So, there is no point waiting for the 14th day or when symptoms are obvious before testing can be done. This has limited a lot of Nigerians from being tested, and this is dangerous for our fight against the disease.”
Professor Oyewole therefore advised NCDC to review the criteria for testing to ensure that anyone who has had contact with a positive person or who came into the country from a high-risk nation should be tested.
NCDC announced on Tuesday that Nigeria recorded 30 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of the virus in the country to 373.
However, NCDC has also said it is planning to increase its testing capacity to 4,000 per day.
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