COVID-19: Scientist harps on adequate provision of testing kits

By Lilian Okoro

Lagos – Dr Livinus Abonyi, a medical imaging scientist, has urged the Federal Government to take proactive steps for adequate provision of testing kits to ensure more people are tested for the Coronavirus.
Abonyi, who is a lecturer in the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, gave the advice in an interview the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
He said the lockdown extension should be optimally utilised to ensure everyone with the virus or those who came in contact with infected persons were properly tracked and quarantined accordingly.
Abonyi, who said that this could only be possible if the required working were readily available, decried inadequate availability of the COVID-19 testing kits in the country.
He, therefore, urged the government to step up efforts to ensure availability of enough testing kits so that all the people with the virus would be captured within the period of the lockdown.
“Government needs to do more. In Nigeria, manpower is not a challenge, but the with which the health workers will work.
“It is uncalled for that somebody who developed COVID-19 symptoms will call the NCDC toll free line and may not receive response for the next 24 hours – which may be due to lack of conveying vehicles, testing or other factors.
“To me, the best way to go is to start conducting random testing so that everyone’s status about COVID-19 will be ascertained, while the infected ones will be isolated, quarantined and treated.
“But when those with symptoms who request for medical attention cannot be immediately attended to. How then will the random testing be possible?” he wondered.
Abonyi advised the government to as matter of urgency to ensure provision of adequate testing kits alongside other materials needed in the fight against the Coronavirus.
He urged that the various donations and approved funds be judiciously utilised to cater for the health workers, provide necessary materials and palliatives to ease people’s suffering during this period of prolonged lockdown.
The President, Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria (DSFN), Mrs Rose Mordi also advised those entrusted with the responsibility of handling the palliatives to shun greed and any form of discrimination.
Mordi urged them to ensure that the targeted persons benefitted from the support and suggested that the current political structure should be applied in sharing the palliatives.
According to her, if the people sharing the palliatives are to be sincere, it will get to a whole lot of people.
“In every local government area, there are wards; and in every ward, there are polling units – with this, the poor and those who actually need the gesture will be located,” she said


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