By Gbenga Akingbule
Coronavirus testing capacity for suspected patients have been increased to 75 persons per day,the Borno State Government has said .
Also , the state government has set up a 500 bed capacity isolation centre which is schedule to be activated in phases. 100 bed is already completed.This is in addition to its 100 bed Brig. Abba Kyari Isolation centre and the 80 bed space University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital isolation centre.
This is happening even as the state has discharged a total of 18 covid19 petients between Friday and Monday . Some the patients who were shown to the media commended the healthcare workers for their commitment to the cause of saving lives .
At a press conference on Monday held in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, Commissioner of Health in the State , Hon Salihu Kwayabura Aliyu made the disclosure and stated the the government is working assiduously to halt the spread of coronavirus disease in the state .
The Commissioner who revealed that the Biu Isolation centre located in the souththern part of the state is coming on stream by the weekend, noted that there was need for more testing of persons suspected of COVID-19 with a view to ascertaining the true status.
” When we started , we doing between 20 and 30 tests per day . But in the last couple of days, this has increased to about 75 tests per day.
” Why we’ve been able to do this is because of the increase in need and test is the only way we will know what our problem is like . We’ve worked out a system whereby two shifts will be carried out in the laboratory so that some set of people can work during the day while others work at night .” Kwayabura said.
Kwayabura who doubles as the Secretary of the COVID-19 Response Team in the state revealed that the work has reached advance stage to ensure the testing of 500 Covid19 sample per day when the state new molecular laboratory come on stream.
He added that all the medical facilities required for the set up ot the new molecular laboratory situated at the Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital has been ordered and its expected to be installed by next week .
” This equipment, which is coming, has a capacity of 100 tests at a time ; actually, 96 samples can be put in at once to run the tests and because its automated , the time span for the test is much lower” Kwayabura said.
Meanwhile, the Health Commissioner has warned private Laboratories, Pharmacy and Patent Medicine stores to desist from attending to or consulting for COVID-19 patients stating that the government will not hesitate to visit them with the full weight of the law.
” It has come to our notice that a few private laboratories are engaged in this dastardly and unwarranted act . None of the private laboratories has the capacity whatever to test for COVID-19 .
‘ Again I sound a strong warning , on behalf of the committee and the government of Borno state that they desist henceforth , otherwise the full wrought of the law will come in , we will close down all such premises and prosecute the offenders in accordance with the extant laws of the country.” Kwayabura said.
Borno state currently has 186 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease including 21 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.