Kwara State has officially been designated a test centre for the COVID-19 pandemic by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The chairman of the State’s Medical Advisory on COVID-19, Femi Oladiji, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Ilorin.
He said the NCDC has approved the automated GeneXpert laboratory located at the COVID-19/Infectious Diseases Centre Alagbado, Ilorin, as a test centre.
Mr Oladiji said that another COVID-19 molecular and research laboratory was being proposed at the Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre which would utilise Reverse transcription and PCR in real-time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR).
“The GeneXpert machine has been accredited by the NCDC and is now officially functional in the state.
“A review to assess the diagnostic accuracy of GeneXpert found that when used as an initial test, it had pooled sensitivity of 89% and specificity of 99% compared to sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 99% for RT-qPCR at standard formats.
“The GeneXpert tests will let us make quicker decisions about whether to quarantine or isolate individuals who show up with or without potential symptoms related to COVID-19.
“Hospital management staff will also be able to make rapid decisions about the best way to use resources such as respiratory equipment.
“This is a huge success for the government and people of the state. It is also a huge investment by the government.
“I must thank the governor for this feat with the NCDC certification of this GeneXpert facility. It would go a long way in the fight against this pandemic in the state,” he said.