Health

COVID-19: NCDC says no Rapid Diagnostic Test kit for virus is validated

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Sunday declared that no Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kit for the Coronavirus pandemic has been validated and approved for sale.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of the NCDC, gave the clarifications in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.

Ihekweazu who is reacting to an alleged test kits received by the Government of Nigeria that can only be used in molecular laboratories,

said NCDC is aware of ongoing studies and remains committed to scaling up testing capacity in the country.

He said that NCDC is aware of the validation studies that were on going and until these were completed, the agency cannot procure RDTs, because they do not know if they would work.

“These can give false results,” he said, adding that

the COVID-19

 

test reagents which Nigeria have

 

received

 

and procured recently can only be used for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), tests in existing molecular laboratories.

Nigeria News Agency reports that PCR was invented in 1983 by Kary Mullis.

 

It

is a method widely used in molecular biology to rapidly make millions to billions copies of a specific DNA allowing scientists to take a very small sample of the DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.

Ihekweazu noted that there have been important developments such as the use of Gene-Xpert machines, adding that

NCDC was  also expanding its testing capacity using such technology.

He said that these reagents would be distributed by NCDC to the six existing COVID-19 testing laboratories in the country, and more as the agency expands its testing capacity.

NAN reports that Lagos State remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the country.

NCDC on its twitter handle said: “As at 10:40 pm March 28, there are 97 confirmed cases of COVID19 reported in Nigeria with one death.

A breakdown of cases by states indicated that Lagos has 59; FCT 16,  Oyo seven, and Ogun three cases.

Others are Enugu, Edo, Bauchi, and Osun with two cases each, while Ekiti, Rivers, Benue and Kaduna have one case each, respectively.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/RSA
(NAN)

Abujah Racheal

Abujah Racheal: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a media subscriber of the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

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