Testing 1500 people daily not good enough for 200m population — NARD
Reacting to BUHARI’S speech yesterday, the President, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Dr. Sokomba Aliyu, has said: ”At the moment, the facilities can test 1,500 people per day but if you are to test the 200 million population, that will take how long?
As much as I appreciate the efforts of the government on what they are doing, testing 1,500 people per day is not good enough.
”What that means is that also after two good weeks of lockdown, they were only able to test 5000 people. First 1,500 people per day in two weeks should be like 18,000 people, so for how long are we going to be locked down to get the number of people we are supposed to test.
”You recall that WHO had emphasised that the critical and the most important thing to do to break transmission is to ensure that it does not spread and you can only do it by knowing who has it so that you can isolate and treat them, trace their contact but all these boil down to testing.
”I appreciate the President for improving on the testing capacity across Nigeria but it could be better. There is a lot more to be done to reduce the sufferings of Nigerians. Prompt testing and identification of their contacts and treatment will break the transmission.”
In his reaction, National Publicity Secretary of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, Dr. Casmier Ifeanyin, said: ”On the issue of how many tests we can do per day, while I commend the President for what he has done, I beg to differ with the text of his address that says we can now do 1,500 tests per day.
”We started in the last week in February and between February and the April 12, we were only able to do between 3000 and 5000, what magic wand has happened that can now make us deliver 1,500 tests per day?
”If you listened to the Minister of Health today (yesterday) and the National Coorditor , PTF COVID, Dr Sani Aliu, they talked about how they have increased number of labs to 11, but they were talking about being able to test samples sufficiently to fill those labs, meaning, therefore, that there is a major lag on sampling processes and sample volume. So where is the sample volume coming from that gives us 1, 500 per day? Yes, we may have infrastructure that can deliver 1, 500 per day but that does not translate to the fact that we are now testing 1,500 per day.””