The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said on Monday the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would carry out 450 tests in each local government area of the country.
The PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, who disclosed this at task force media briefing in Abuja, said the tests would commence immediately in a few states in the country.
This means that the government will conduct 348,300 COVID-19 tests in the 774 local government areas of the country.
He said: “We are aware that states are not on the same pedestal in the area of testing, and we shall begin with the states that are in the forefront of resourcing and infrastructure.”
He also revealed that Nigeria has moved up to third position globally in terms of spread of the COVID-19
Mustapha added: “In Africa, South Africa and Nigeria continue to report highest daily count, while South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, and Kenya account for 76 percent of all cases in the region.
“Nigeria has moved up to third position in highest cumulative COVID-19 caseload, but remains second for new cases and fifth highest in cumulative deaths on the World Health Organisation (WHO) African region.
“From the foregoing, testing has proven to have become more significant in our national response.
“The PTF still urge the state governments to enable their Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) to step up on sample collection and to maximise the capacities of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Laboratories already established in their states.”
On COVID-19 vaccines, the chairman said: “The positive news about vaccines remains high in the ranking of discussions nationwide.
“Nigerians are assured that PTF will ensure that the vaccines to be approved will be safe and effective.
“We must, however, work together as foot soldiers in the COVID-19 vaccine advocacy so that we can eliminate the pandemic.
“The PTF wishes to emphasise that the success of our national response shall not depend on vaccines alone.
“Rather, compliance with the non-pharmaceutical protocols must remain top on our individual priorities.”