The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has raised an alarm over the sale of COVID-19 diagnostic test kits in “black markets”.
TheCable reported that Ihekweazu gave the warning because black markets are non-regulated platforms or economies where a series of transactions take place with little respect for established rules.
Speaking at the presidential task force briefing on Thursday, Ihekweazu warned those who are desperate for test to be careful.
He also called for caution as industries gear up to reopen for businesses. The NCDC DG said there is currently a lot of pressure as companies seek to test their employees before they resume work.
Ihekweazu warned Nigerians to be cautious while purchasing diagnostic test kits.
“It is important that as we open our industries, we really think about the measures that we advise everyone to carry out and leave testing for the purpose for which it is there,” he said.
“There is a growing black market on rapid diagnostics test kits in Nigeria, we have to be careful in what we buy, how we use it and how we interpret the results that they provide.”
He also disclosed that the Nigeria private-sector coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) donated N47 million to support sample transportation to boost testing.
“Yesterday, CACOVID finally put in N47 million into sample transportation, so the private sector is coming on as well. CACOVID is a collection of corporate Nigerians and they put in funding going directly into the private courier firm that is supporting sample transportation across the country. So everybody is coming together to make things work,” he said.
Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, disclosed that Nigeria has conducted 49,966 COVID-19 tests so far.