Osagie Enahire, the Minister of Health, has said the Federal Government has set up three test centres to detect any possible case of coronavirus in the country.
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He said this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
The three designated laboratories are in Lagos, Abuja and Irrua in Edo State. Enahaire said the centres have been adequately equipped.
“Since about eight days ago, we obtained the reagents necessary; we have the machines. They are called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines which we have here for molecular diagnostics; but we didn’t have the reagents,” Ehanire said.
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“Because for every pathogen, you have a specific pathogen that you will use to detect it and that one for coronavirus being a new disease was not very much available but we acquired it about eight days ago.
“And now three laboratories in Nigeria can test corona virus and in fact, they have tested two cases already which were negative—Lagos, Abuja and Irrua.
“Irrua, as you know is Nigeria’s centre of excellence for this viral hemorrhagic fevers which is the category to which Corona virus and Lassa fever belong particularly.
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“As far as corona virus is concerned, it is human to human transmission. Maybe we have been lucky that no person carrying that corona has entered our country and none has come here undetected.
“And we are particularly happy that the Chinese government is conducting what is called exit screening. They not only screen those who are entering their country, they screen those who are leaving; so that if they, themselves see any person who has any sign of being sick or having corona virus, they will restrain that person from travelling.”