Ekiti inaugurates 400-testing capacity mobile laboratory

Ekiti inaugurates 400-testing capacity mobile laboratory

The Ekiti State Government, on Monday, inaugurated a 400-testing capacity mobile laboratory to ease testing of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Governor Kayode Fayemi said this is part of steps to curtail further spread of the pandemic in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the laboratory, installed at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti, was in partnership with 54gene, a company set up to provide genomic data for Africa.

This is coming barely a month after the government unveiled the state COVID-19 Response Hub, a Geographic Information System-based application, created to manage data on the pandemic in the state.

Speaking at the occasion, the governor said with the installation and inauguration of the laboratory, the state now had capacity to test up to 400 cases daily.

He said the laboratory was fully equipped with vital testing instruments and bio-safety materials, including an autoclave, bio-safety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.

He said 54gene would also furnish the government with operational support and molecular scientists, with the necessary skills to handle the instruments in the mobile laboratory.

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Mr Fayemi said that the state would now be conducting tests in all the 16 local government areas to facilitate early detection of COVID-19 and ensure timely and adequate treatment of any infected person.

He said the laboratory would remain in the state, even after the pandemic might have abated and would be used as a fully-functional molecular laboratory.

This, according to him, will bolster the state’s molecular testing capabilities, adding the facility might be used by medical researchers and clinicians in the state in the event of future outbreak of any disease aside from coronavirus.

The laboratory was pioneered by 54gene, a health technology company accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is already testing for COVID-19 in Lagos, Kano and Ogun states.

The initiative is also one of the interventions being facilitated by the state COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilisation Committee, set up by the governor, to attract an effective support base and respond to the threats posed by the global pandemic.