Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N8.49 billion for the purchase of items needed to test for COVID-19.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, after Wednesday’s meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Ehanire said he presented a memo to FEC on the matter on behalf of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“The Minister of Health presented a memo on behalf of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to procure materials for preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic, which is ravaging every part of the world including our country.
“This is part of the preparedness for community transmission which is going on now and has affected over 586 Local Government Areas and we need the materials so as to be able to expand our testing and diagnostic capabilities.
“This memo is as a result of the Presidential task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Special Intervention Funds managed by the PTF, which allocated these resources for the NCDC preparedness,” he said.
Mr Ehanire said materials to be procured include diagnostic kits used for COVID-19 testing and that efforts are on to ensure sample collection in all Nigeria’s 774 local governments.
“We are procuring these materials to be able to respond properly to community transmission phase.”
“This is to ensure that persons in rural areas are not excluded and to ensure that not only the big cities or towns are attended to,” he said.
Nigeria has tested less than 350,000 of its over 200 million people.
According to the NCDC, out of about 47,290 infected persons so far, more than 33,000 have recovered and have been discharged after treatment with less than 1,000 deaths recorded.