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Senegal testing kits not available till June and it’ll cost $18 to $20- NCDC

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control [NCDC] DG, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has revealed that each COVID-19 test cost the country $20.

The NCDC DG was reacting to news of the cheaper testing method being developed in Dakar, Senegal. He said that the West African country had always enjoyed the presence of the World Health Organisation [WHO] and a reference laboratory run by the WHO.

The NCDC DG said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 media briefing in Abuja. He added that the cost between $18 and $20 to test a COVID-19 sample.

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According to him, the cost does not include human resources and other expenses.

It said the new testing method would only be available by the middle of the year. He, however, said that it would not come as cheap as being said in the media.

He added,

“There is a long-standing World Health Organisation laboratory in Dakar, Senegal that has been a reference centre for a long time. There is a new testing development that will become available sometime in June or July. It is not available now. All the tests they have done so far (in Senegal) were done using PCR (polymerase chain reaction). There is no way that it (the new testing method) will be available at that price ($1).

“It costs between $18 and $20 to test a COVID-19 sample. This is for reagent alone. We have not put a cost to human resources and other costs.”

Referring to his speech on Monday, when he called on states with low or zero cases to get samples for the NCDC to test, the NCDC DG said that he was only expressing concern about the danger of leaving cases behind without treating them

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