By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu
Awka, Jan. 14, 2021 The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, on Thursday said that no fewer than 100 COVID-19 test samples are collected daily in the state.
Okpala told newsmen in Awka that the state improved access to testing by establishing sample collection centres in the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
“COVID-19 testing has been ongoing. Anambra is testing maximally. As of ending of last week, we were already at 14,000 tests with 3.9 per cent positivity rate, and we are moving forward.
“Between December 7, 2020,when we were at 9,000 and as at yesterday, we have done 5,000 extra just under one month.
“So, if you do the maths, you will find out that at least in a day we are doing 100 tests or collecting 100 samples a day. We want to do more than that but at least that is a good target.
“We have sample collectors in all the 21 LGA and we also have our test centres at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka and Onitsha and they are working maximally, and that is helping us in this effort.
“We also have one of the shortest turn around time for test result in the country where you can have COVID-19 results sometimes in hours, and this is helping our doctors do the right thing,”he said.
On the proposed procurement of COVID-19 vaccine by the Federal Government, Okpala said the state had capacity with vaccination, vaccine distribution and management.
“There are different types of COVID-19 vaccines, like if you are discussing the ones that will need minus 70 degrees centigrade or Celsius for storage, no one has that facility in Nigeria; there is also the one that will need minus 20 degrees centigrade, not also in Nigeria.
“If you are discussing the free-to-air centigrade, we have that readily available in Anambra. Anambra has actually shown capacity with vaccination, vaccine distribution and management.
“An example is in November 2020, we vaccinated about 5.5 million people – the Yellow Fever Vaccine, under 14 days. That is to show how ready we are when we get the COVID-19 vaccine in the country,” he said.
Th Commissioner urged residents go get tested for COVID-19, especially when they have malaria.
“We are encouraging our people to go get tested, especially when they want to treat malaria, very important.
” They need to rule out COVID-19. All those people saying I have malaria need to tell their doctors that the illness might be COVID-19. Ask your doctor, ‘Have you ruled out COVID-19?’ Make sure it is not COVID-19, “he said.
He also advised residents to comply with COVID-19 protocols including wearing of facemasks, regular hand hygiene and keeping physical distance of two metres.