FG to use Genexpert tuberculosis diagnosis machines for COVID-19 testing

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed that results of tests would begin to come out faster when the  Federal Government obtained cartridges to activate its  Genexpert machines.

He said, “We shall make arrangements for those who are being tested to be in a holding area until confirmation. We shall be able to solve part of that problem when we get the support for activating Genexpert machines.

“We have applied for support for cartridges that will allow us to use the machines for testing. The result is faster; about 45 minutes to one hour. So the person whose sample is being tested can wait for the result to come out before the necessary action is taken.”


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The minister, had earlier this month at a PTF press briefing on coronavirus, said the 300 Genexpert machines used for tuberculosis diagnosis would be converted to testing COVID-19.

The health minister said that the Nigerian Army had agreed to support isolation centres with security as the need arose.

On the Chinese medical experts who had been in quarantine since arriving in Nigeria, Ehanire said that they were tested for COVID-19 and found to be negative.

He also reiterated the need for health workers to be cautious when handling COVID-19 samples. He also warned them against carrying out COVID-19 treatment in secret.

He said, “As for the case of the 40 health workers that were infected, we have always warned that health workers must use their personal protective equipment. If you are not trained in infection control, this COVID-19 is not for you.

“It is really risky to underrate the infectiousness of this virus. It is not malaria or any viral illness that we know. Any other person who is doing treatment either privately or secretly is doing so at his own risk and at the risk of the public.”


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