COVID-19: Nigeria develops indigenous test kit

COVID-19: Nigeria develops indigenous test kit

The Federal Government has announced the development of a locally-made test kit for COVID-19.

1st News reports that the test kit identified as RNA-Swift was developed locally. Further, it had undergone validation as a fitting test kit for the identification of SARS-CoV-2; the causative agent for COVID-19.

This was disclosed on Thursday, July 9, 2020 by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu.

Specifically, Onu announced this during a press conference in Abuja.  Equally important, the Minister revealed that the development of the test kit was borne out of the need to ramp up Nigeria’s testing capacity. Also, he noted that this would go a long way in boosting efforts to rein in the COVID-19 scourge in Nigeria.

In addition, he disclosed that the kit would be made available at an affordable price.

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1st News reports that testing for COVID-19 in Nigeria is still at an abysmally low level; especially when compared with the case in other climes and in view of the country’s huge population.

As at today, Friday, July 10, 2020, only 171,931 samples have been tested so far.

“The RNA-Swift has amazing precision for the detection of SARS-COV-2. It will be commercially available at a price that places it ahead of competitors in terms of sensitivity and affordability.”

Further, he revealed that the Federal Government would test about five million farmers in the next few months; relying on the first 10 million kits that would be produced.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has recorded 499 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Equally important, the latest infections have seen total confirmed cases hit 30,748.

This was disclosed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) via its verified Twitter handle late on Thursday night.

The agency revealed that as at July 9, 499 more persons had joined the growing list of confirmed cases. Also, five new deaths attributed to the COVID-19 scourge were recorded in the country on Thursday. As a matter of fact, the latest deaths have seen a rise in the death toll. Currently, a total of 689 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria since the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the country.

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Gideon Ayogu

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