By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Ogun State Government has disclosed that it has acquired a molecular laboratory as part of its efforts towards enhancing swift and effective testing of suspected cases of the deadly coronavirus in the state.
It explained that the need to bridge the gap between turnaround of tests, and reduce the workload of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) saddled with the responsibility of testing coronavirus cases in the country had informed the purchase.
The state’s Governor, Dapo Abiodun, said the purchase of the molecular laboratory was part of his administration’s efforts towards flattening the curve of the global pandemic in the state and country at large.
The Governor, in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Wednesday, noted that once finishing touches had been finalized for its operationalization, the molecular laboratory will be unveiled at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Sagamu, during the lockdown.
He explained that the purchase was also in fulfilment of his promise to establish a biomedical laboratory to ensure tests of suspected cases in the state could be done without going to Lagos, Ede or Abuja.
“When unveiled, it will minimise the test turn-around time which currently is between 3-5 days and fast-track the handling of positive cases. It will also reduce the period of apprehension and anxiety for those suspected of infection and their relations.
“A molecular laboratory test is essential in the checks for certain genes, proteins, or other molecules in a sample of tissue, blood, or other body fluid and central in the detection and handling of the coronavirus, and we are glad we can now commence testing of suspected cases within our domains making Ogun the first state to set up an independent laboratory for the diagnosis of the coronavirus,” the statement said.
The Governor assured that his team is also working on reviewing relaxation windows for people of the state during the two weeks lockdown extension recently ordered by the Federal Government, while urging the citizens, particularly residents of the state to endure the new directive.
Abiodun stressed that the current window of relaxation of the lockdown in the state from 7.00am to 2.00pm, will end on Friday, 17th April, 2020, adding that, “we are reviewing the current window to enable citizens and residents restock on food items and conduct essential businesses during the period of the extended lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.”