Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of NCDC, disclosed this on Monday on Channels Television, Programme “Sunrise Daily”, while, speaking on COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, says the centre is in dire need of more Ribonucleic Acid extraction kits as testing for the coronavirus disease is being increased in the country.

Ihekweazu made this disclosure on Sunday via Twitter while calling on medical and pharmaceutical companies and distributors who have the kits in stock.

The director-general said, “We’re desperately looking for more RNA extraction kits as we expand COVID-19 testing.”

He gave the product specification as “total viral RNA extraction kits preferably spin column and with a lysis buffer”, from manufacturers such as Qiagen, ThermoFischer, SeeGene, Inqaba, LifeRiver, amongst others.

He urged anyone with information to this important testing material to reach the centre via its email address, [email protected]

According to the World Health Organisation, RNA extraction kits that are designed to extract RNA directly from clinical specimens may be unsuitable for extracting RNA from virus-infected cell culture lysates.

The centre has about 15 molecular testing laboratories with the capacity to test for COVID-19 in the country, adding that it has the plan to scale up testing to over a thousand per day.

About 10,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the country so far while over 1000 people have tested positive for the novel virus while more than 30 deaths have been recorded.

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