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UK procures COVID-19 testing machine for Nigeria

A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine which can carry out at least 3,000 tests per day has been procured for Nigeria by the United Kingdom.…

A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine which can carry out at least 3,000 tests per day has been procured for Nigeria by the United Kingdom.

A statement on Monday from British Deputy High Commission in Nigeria said the machine is the most accurate laboratory method for detecting, tracking and studying coronavirus.

It was procured using some of the £661,000 (N319.2million) UKAid funding on Nigeria, the statement signed by the deputy high commission’s head of public relations, Ndiamaka Eze added.

Eze said the machine was presented to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, and the Immunisation Team Lead and current Officer-in-Charge of WHO Nigeria, Dr Fiona Braka, at the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) a campus of the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Lagos on Sunday.

It said the delivery of the machine was part of the UK government and the Federal Government of Nigeria’s collaboration to curb the spread of the disease in the country.

“The UK has been working closely with authorities across Nigeria, including the NCDC, to support preparedness, planning and wider public health response efforts to contain the spread of the virus in Nigeria”, the Deputy High Commission said.

Speaking on the donation of the PCR machine, to the NCDC, the British High Commissioner representative at the event, Karl Holmes said: “The procurement of this new PCR machine complements the UK Government’s ongoing financial and technical support to Nigeria for the provision of diagnostic reagents and consumables, Biosafety training and certifications through our International Health Regulations (lHR) Strengthening Project led by Public Health England.”

Also speaking, the NCDC DG said: “We are glad to be getting such huge support and technical advice from our partners including the UK Governments’ Department for International Development (DFID).

This new PCR Machine, which is a small part of our bigger testing strategy, will help us in driving towards our goal to test over 2 million people over the next three months.

“This laboratory will now be able to play an even bigger role to help us meet this target.”