Nigerian university boosts COVID-19 testing capacity in northern state


Nigeria’s Bayero University has established a new COVID-19 molecular laboratory that will increase daily samples test capacity in Kano, a northern state in Nigeria hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The operational capacity of the laboratory was three folds higher the than state’s current coronavirus diagnostic centers, said Isa Abubakar, director in charge of the university center for infectious diseases and research, in Kano on Tuesday.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on late Monday announced an immediate lockdown of northern Kano state, one of the states hit hardest by COVID-19, and also saw a surge of unexplained deaths recently.

Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the governor of Kano state, told media on Monday that the state was short of sample collection equipment, stressing that the laboratory in the state was not functioning well.

Abubakar said the laboratory began test running on Tuesday, to prepare for the commencement of full clinical operation on Friday.

He said adequate measures have been put in place to handle large number of samples.

“Installation of equipment needed to handle samples of COVID-19 is 98 percent completed as at Monday, while test running of installed equipment commences Tuesday, to ensure all is in perfect condition before Friday,” he said.

He said the center when fully functional would also embark on study for development of a vaccine as well as enhance awareness creation of the people through research findings.

The new COVID-19 laboratory was designed to complement the only test center in the state run by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) at Aminu Kano Teaching hospital. The NCDC center has been shut down in the past one week in spite of the increasing number of coronavirus infections recorded in the state.

Kano has recorded 77 confirmed cases and three COVID-19 deaths as at Monday. Enditem

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