Testing for Coronavirus will commence in Abia State from next week, following the receipt of some diagnostic equipment for the establishment of three laboratories in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, Dr Joe Osuji, said one of the two GeneXpert equipment ordered by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu from the United States had arrived the state.
Osuji said the state also received the donation of one PCR machine from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria on Friday.
The commissioner noted that the equipment would be deployed to three laboratories located at the Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Umuahia, the Amaracha Isolation Centre and a facility in Aba.
According to Osuji, the state government in partnership with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had concluded the test run of one of the GenXpert diagnostic equipment located in Amaracha.
The commissioner said because the GeneXpert equipment does require an extractor, it would help to reduce the chances of sample contamination and also reduce exposure of laboratory personnel to infection.
Osuji further said the delay in the delivery of the GeneXpert equipment was due to its acute shortage as a result of excess demand from across the globe
He also noted that Abia recorded increased number of COVID-19 cases because the state had increased contact tracing and testing for the virus.