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Why I said Nigeria is desperately looking for extraction kits – NCDC chief


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has explained why it tweeted: ‘Nigeria desperately looking for extraction kits’.

Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of NCDC, said on Monday that he made the request to prevent shutting down of a network of 15 laboratories currently testing for COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Ikekweazu made the explanation at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Newsmen report that Ihekweazu wrote: “We’re desperately looking for more RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) extraction kits as we expand COVID-19 testing.

“Product: Total viral RNA extraction kits (preferably spin column with a lysis buffer). Manufacturers: Qiagen, ThermoFischer, SeeGene, Inqaba, LifeRiver etc.”

Following the tweet, Nigerians criticised the NCDC boss on social media, claiming he publicly requested for COVID-19 test kits after saying that the country had enough resources to fight the virus.

“On my tweet on Sunday, I asked for something called extraction kits. These are not the same as test kits.

“We have a supply chain of all the commodities but there are supply chain challenges in things coming into the country now.

“This is the consequence of the situation we are in now and the global demands for the same thing.

“These are things that we had ordered for and they are in process of coming in but we suddenly ran out.

“Rather than shut down a network of 15 laboratories in the country, I put out that tweet,” he said.

He said that although he received criticisms from the public, the purpose was achieved.

He said that some people donated the extraction kits free.

“While we got a lot of criticism which I expected, people came and solved that problem.

“People brought the extraction kits and some of them offered to give to us for free.

“This country will continue to surprise us by its spirit, by its people and by its ingenuity in terms of how to solve that problem,” he said.

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