Shocking: NCDC Prioritises COVID-19 Test for High Profile Nigerians

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been conducting COVID-19 tests on high profiled Nigerians, who demanded for it, but asked ‘ordinary’ citizens who also requested for same to strictly follow its case-definition rule for testing; a situation that has left many unattended to, Thisday
can confirm.
NCDC’s case-definition rule for undergoing testing for the COVID-19 says for anyone to be tested for the virus, the person must have travelled into Nigeria from a high risk country, or must have had direct contact with a confirmed case, and, in addition to any of these definitions, the person must have had visible symptoms of COVID-19 before requesting for testing.
Although many of the high profiled persons who have been attended to by NCDC did not show visible symptoms of the virus, they, along with their families, staff and close allies have been tested, while many ‘ordinary’ Nigerians who may have also travelled to high risk countries or had contact with confirmed cases are been asked to wait until they have visible symptoms of COVID-19 before their samples can be taken.
Revealing this to THISDAY, an epidemiologist with NCDC in Lagos State, who preferred to remain anonymous, said NCDC does not have enough reagents to go round, hence he advised people to adhere strictly to the case-definition before being qualified for testing.
“However, there are occasions where we get directives to go take samples of a high profiled person, his family members, staff and close allies. We can’t say no because that is the order from above. And you know on many occasions we end up wasting the reagents we do not have because these people may not really meet the case definition.
“For instance, in the case of a popular musician and his girlfriend, the agency wasted 33 reagents because it tested 33 persons around Davido. Although his girlfriend tested positive, the other persons all tested negative. These people did not meet our case definition, but what can we do,” he added.

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