The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says sample collection for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country decline in August.
A report data made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday night by NCDC, showed a decline in sample collection for six states from May to August.
The report indicated that all states analysed showed a significant decline in sample collection in August, with Federal Capital Territory (FCT) having the least sample collection.
“FCT had one of the leading COVID-19 testing performing locations in the country,’’ it said.
The public health agency noted that Plateau recently stepped up its testing.
“Plateau has the highest polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), laboratory capacity utilisation and operational efficiency in the country at the moment.’’
The NCDC said that Edo sample collection also declined significantly but appeared to be in recovery mode, as from July 8 to July 21.
The state collected 2,713 samples and from Aug. 5 to Aug. 18, it collected 1,230 samples.
The agency stated that Lagos state accounted for 24 per cent of all COVID-19 test in the country.
“Sample collection has declined significantly as data showed that from July 8 to July 21, a total of 22,714 samples were collected while 9,877 samples were collected from July 19 to Sept. 1,’’ it said.
Oyo State had performed reasonably well in the past regarding COVID-19 testing but unfortunately, sample collection declined significantly of recent.
“Data from July 8 to July 21 showed 4,776 samples and July 19 to Sept. 1, showed 919 samples collected.
The health agency said that Kano State was a leading state for COVID-19 tests with five PCR laboratories and a low percentage of transmission.
“Kano accounts for over 10 per cent of all COVID-19 tests in the country.
“Unfortunately, the sample collection dropped significantly in August.
“July 8 to July 21 showed that 11,834 samples were collected while 1,364 samples were collected from July 19 to Sept. 1.’’
NAN reports that as at Sept. 2, there were 216 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of reported cases to 54,463 in Nigeria.
A total of 42,438 patients have recovered and discharged while 1,027 deaths related to the virus were so far recorded.
Also, Boss Mustapha , the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday said that the Federal Government is disturbed by the low level of coronavirus test sample collections in the country.
As of Thursday,Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation of over 200 million inhabitants, had 54,463 confirmed coronavirus cases which have resulted in 1,027 deaths.
Mr. Mustapha, , said he and other officials who make up the PTF were “disturbed by the low level of sample collection” because of the implications for testing, tracing, and treatment.
“Despite the increased diagnostic capacity and improved access to testing, the demand remains low with not enough samples being collected,” he said, adding that “the recent reduction in cases in some states could be attributed to low testing.”
Health Experts said that Africa has fared better than expected.
John Nkengasong, the head of The Africa Centre for Disease Control and prevention told an online news conference on Thurday that the continent’s number of new cases fell 11% in the past four weeks.
Nkengasong opined that inadequate testing still means the picture is incomplete