Adebayo Obajemu

The Federal Government has said all returning international passengers must be tested by a certified private laboratory after seven days, on returning to the country.

Making this disclosure was the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, during the briefing of the task force on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

He said the government’s stance was to enable early detection of the coronavirus disease and reduce the risk of its further transmission.

He stated, “To enable early detection and reduce the risk of further transmission based on data and our current laboratory capacity, all incoming travelers must be tested by a certified private laboratory after 7 days of returning to the country.

And there are only three criteria for these private laboratories to get on to the portal. Firstly, they have to be licensed through the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. Secondly, they must have undergone a process of validation and optimization by NCDC, and then thirdly, they must be accredited by the state government because their results will feed into the state numbers.’’

Federal Government has already reached out to states, according to Aliyu.

He urged them to partner with the private laboratories within their areas and come up with the list of accredited laboratories that were able to meet those requirements.

Although Dr. Sani Aliyu revealed that at the moment, they only had portals for Lagos and Abuja, he said there were arrangements with the laboratories serving these areas to be responsible for collecting samples for passengers outside Lagos and Abuja.