Nigeria’s private sector has backed the Federal Government’s effort in combating the coronavirus disease with a proposed 400,000 testing kits.
The Coalition Against COVID-19 hinted that it ordered 250,000 test kits and another 150,000 extraction kits to help increase its molecular testing as part of its efforts to fight COVID-19.
CACOVID said that the arrival of the kits would complement the efforts of the Federal Government in the isolation centres in Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Borno, and Enugu as well as the Federal Capital Territory, while other states would benefit from the renovation of hospitals and other medical supplies.
Africa’s wealthiest man and President of the Dangote Group, AlikoDangote, leads the coalition through his foundation.
The Chief Executive Officer, AlikoDangote Foundation, ZoueraYoussoufou, said, “Open Polymerase Chain Reaction machine is the standard platform. Eight labs in Nigeria are certified to conduct COVID-19 test; 10 new PCR machines and 150,000 extraction kits have been ordered.
“The other is Roche Cobus Platform with six machines in Nigeria, each capable of conducting 960 tests at a time. Nigeria was on track to receive 38,000 but we have ordered 250,000.
“We also have Cepheid Gene Expert Machines – there are 400 machines installed in the country, and 250 are expected to be functional with trained lab technicians.
“Cepheid has developed a COVID-19 testing cartridge that has received Food and Drug Administration approval and will begin shipping to Africa in two weeks. We have ordered 250,000 cartridges and expect shipment receipt in two weeks.”
Youssoufou also disclosed that the coalition was also embarking on the distribution of relief materials to about 1.7mhouseholds in need and called for more involvement of private persons.
She said, “The CACOVID has now decided to distribute food items ranging from rice, garri, beans to noodles etc to reach about 1.7m who are in need. We call upon other Nigerians to join CACOVID in fighting this pandemic so that it will be better for us all.”
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, who joined Dangote in setting up CACOVID, said the coalition had raised N25bn and spent between N16bnand N20bn procuring various medical needs.
He called on Nigerians to go out and get tested.
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