Lagos State government announced it has done some 16,000 coronavirus testings so far, costing the state N800 million.
Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi who disclosed this while responding to questions on COVID-19 situation report at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Center, Alausa explained that each COVID-19 test cost between N40,000 to N50,000 and that 16,000 tests have been carried out so far fully paid for by government. He mentioned that the state government is planning to test about 1,000 people per day in the next one or two months.
“We are going to be ramping up our capacity to test. For now the government is providing testing free of charge as it pays about N40,000 to N50,000 per test but as we ramp up our testing, we are going to try and use some means of subsidy for the test, either through insurance or through some contributions from donors or from development partners to help us.
Abayomi further disclosed plan of the State to roll out trial on hydroxychloroquine, noting that the government has identified the centres to roll out the hydroxy chloroquine trial as well as considering various dietary supplements that can boost or improve the immune system to resist the virus.
According to the Commissioner, Lagos State is seeing a rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19 as a result of the increase in its testing capacity. Abayomi explains that Lagos is recording more cases of COVID-19 than Kano state because it is doing more testing than Kano.
While Lagos has four testing laboratories running for almost three months now and doing three shifts, he noted that Kano has just one laboratory which is yet to properly kick off due to some initial teething problems. Lagos he said has also decentralised sample collection centres with about 20 sample collection sites across the state.
The Commissioner made known that the state government is considering integrating the concept of home-based care of COVID-19 while he appealed to Lagosians to present themselves early for test and treatment, warning against stigmatization of COVID-19 patients.