The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 says only the federal capital territory (FCT) has achieved the target set by the government to test at least one percent of the population in each state.
In April, two months after the country recorded its index case of the coronavirus, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), had said “the laboratory strategy group that is responding to this outbreak has set itself a target of testing two million people in the next three months.”
He had, however, described the target as “ambitious” at the time.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, Sani Aliyu, national coordinator of the PTF, said many states were lagging behind in testing capacity.
He, however, added that aside from the FCT, Lagos has also done much on improving testing capacity.
“Our target for every state is to test at least one percent of its population. Only the FCT has achieved this target. Lagos is fast approaching with about 97 percent achievement, while other states are fairly above 20 to 25 percent,” Aliyu said.
“So, what it means is that most of us do not actually know our status and this becomes even more important as we continue to relax our restrictions.
“We know coronavirus spreads silently and quickly, which is why we must follow safety measures at all times, especially in our schools.
“As mentioned by DG NCDC, both the NCDC, the federal ministry of education, the PTF and state authorities have been working very closely to make sure that the guidelines we produce are relevant to our setting and will also enable us to continue on the right track of keeping on top of the pandemic.”