• NCDC to start using GeneXpert machines for COVID-19 test from June 14
Nigeria has recorded its highest daily infections with 681 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in 17 states, on Thursday.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced this on its official Twitter handle,.
The centre said that as at June 11, Nigeria recorded a total of 14,554 cases with five deaths.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), announcing the figures late Thursday night said, Lagos State reported more than half of the figures declared with 345 new cases.
The agency said that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours.
Rivers State is in a distant second with 51 new cases.
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Other states with new infections include Ogun (48), Gombe (47), Oyo (36), Imo (31), Delta (28), Kano (23), Bauchi (18), Edo (12), Katsina (12), Kaduna (9), Anambra (7), Jigawa (5), Kebbi (4), Ondo (4), and Nasarawa (1).
The NCDC said that till date, 14,554 cases have been confirmed, 9673 active cases 4,494 cases have been treated and discharged and 387 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The health agency will commence the usage of the GeneXpert machines to test for COVID-19 cases beginning from June 14.
“We are ready to do that GeneXpert labs in locations and will start functioning on June 14,” the body said.
The GeneXpert machines, manufactured by the US-based firm, Cepheid, is one of the most widely-used TB diagnostic tools globally.
Nigeria currently has at least 400 GeneXpert instruments deployed in 399 health facilities across the country meant for tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis.
NCDC said that with the challenge of limited kits for COVID-19 testing in the country, some of these machines in each state will be re-configured for COVID-19 testing.
“Each of the GeneXpert instruments in the country has 4-testing modules with testing capacity of about 24 samples per day.
There are also available in the country two mobile laboratories equipped with two GeneXpert instruments each.
“These will be deployed as needed to support COVID-19 testing surge in target states,” NCDC stated.
The agency stated that it has been working hard over the last two weeks to distribute the cartridges to the first seven centres to train them to make sure they are ready and on June 14 they will start testing.
The NCDC, however, decried the poor turnout of test samples from the states across the country.
The body stated that though the available laboratories could test up to 10,000 samples per day, they were only working at about 10 to 20 per cent of their capacity.
“The labs are there, the samples are not coming in as sufficiently as we want. We have this weekend for every state to push harder,” it stated.