The Ogun State Government said it has commenced its community-based coronavirus testing across the 20 local government areas of the state in order to increase the test rate in the state and its environs.
The Commissioner for Health, Tomi Coker, made this known in a statement, explaining that the decision to domesticate Covid-19 testing in all the council areas of the state was on the national recommendation of community-based testing as a means of ascertaining the prevalence, improving early case detection and treatment of both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.
She disclosed that the exercise, which is free of charge, will commence on Thursday, October 8, 2020, with mobile testing in five major markets in each council before stationing it at designated Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in each local government.
Mrs Coker added that ward and community leaders have been engaged to solicit their support and ensure they assist in mobilizing their communities for the testing.
“Evidence has shown that increased testing; including those done within communities will improve case detection, ascertain the true status of infectivity and thus help in limiting spread of the infection, particularly through unrecognized local transmission. This is a lesson we have learned from countries such as South Korea, ”
“In our country, increased testing has helped achieved the success we have attained thus far. However, we need to intensify on the efforts to multiply the gains and have better understanding of the pattern of the virus in Nigeria,” she said.
She disclosed that sample collection will be carried out in a specified Primary Health Centre(PHC) in each local government areas, adding that health personnel in the Primary Health Centres(PHCs) have been trained specifically for this purpose.
‘Once samples have been collected, the health personnel would transfer them to the designated testing laboratories within the State. This initiative will not only lead to increased testing but also help reveal the true burden of the disease in the State vis-à-vis positivity rate’.
‘The Commissioner urged residents to join the efforts of curbing the spread of the virus by presenting themselves for the exercise, adding that, ‘sampling will be done Monday to Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. over the next 3 months simultaneously in each LGA’.
It can be recalled that the first round of community sampling was carried out in April at the peak of the pandemic in the state across all the local government areas.