The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is set to validate the capacity of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), to test for the novel coronavirus.
The Director General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this on his Twitter handle.
NAN reports that LUTH is one of the five functional molecular laboratories for testing samples from the South-West states of Nigeria.
The centre said the five laboratories have the capacity to diagnose Lassa fever in the country and each laboratory costs about N100 million to equip initially, and millions of naira to maintain functionality.
“We have set up capacity to make diagnosis of coronavirus in Abuja and would do the same in Lagos this week. Lagos and Abuja are our main points of entry,” he said.
He also said the centre has agreed on an initial national case definition to identify suspected cases.
The NCDC, Port Health Services and State Epidemiologists are aware of the process for identification and confirmation.
“We‘ll review these criteria as additional information on nCoV2019 becomes available,” he stated.
He said that NCDC has given advisories to Nigerians on the novel coronavirus and how to protect themselves.
The Centre has also published frequently asked questions on the novel coronavirus to keep Nigerians informed.
“Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, we have been working everyday to learn as quickly as possible about this new virus.
“Ongoing research on its transmissibility and virulence will determine our response across Nigeria,” he stated.
According to him, NCDC is one of the few trailblazing organisations on the continent with technical expertise and clear mandate to protect the health of Nigerians from threats of infectious diseases like the novel coronavirus and Lassa fever.
He advised Nigerians that if they experience symptoms of coronavirus such as respiratory illness, restlessness or cough within 14 days of travel to China, they should contact NCDC immediately on Its toll-free number – 0800-970000-10.