Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health

COVID-19: All eligible hospitals to become sample collection sites in Nigeria, says Minister

*Urges COVID-19 positive but asymptomatic people to cooperate with health officials

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In the nation’s continued efforts at curbing the spread of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Nigerian Government has disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health is planning to enlist all qualified public and private hospitals to become sample collecting sites in the country.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health, during the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, FCT, Monday, July 6, explained that it is the plan of the Federal Ministry of Health to boost overall COVID-19 sample collection, by preparing all eligible public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection sites.

Ehanire said that the proposal would require working with various state governments and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) to identify the facilities and the space within them.

According to the Minister, the aim is to conduct training for the personnel selected, and supply both Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and sample collection kits, in addition to the logistics to go around and recover test samples.

This is geared towards better utilisation of available laboratory assets in the country, which even now are capable of handling far more cases than they currently do, he stressed.

He said: “If logistics around samples collection and delivery to test sites are better organised, a lot more will be achieved.”

Ehanire further disclosed that the current figure of tested samples in the country stands at 152, 952 of which as of Monday, July 6, 28,711 were confirmed COVID-19 positive cases whereas 11,665 had been treated and discharged with 645 fatalities, majority of them having underlying illnesses.

A total number of 15,532 cases were confirmed from 74,580 with 303 deaths that were recorded in June 2020 alone, he said.

The Minister urged Nigerians, especially those that are COVID-19 positive who show no symptoms at all, not to go to treatment centers, but to cooperate with health officials and understand the fact that measures taken are protective, and it is in the interest of the Nigerian populace.

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