HeadlinesNews Covid-19: FG blames states for low coronavirus testing, suspends returnees’ passports for evading tests By maritimemag December 31, 202039 views ShareTweet 0 Covid-19: FG blames states for low coronavirus testing, suspends returnees’ passports for evading tests Abiodun OBA The Federal Government has blamed states for low coronavirus testing despite the resources made available to them. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the joint national briefing on the taskforce. Mustapha said,“Reports received also point to the fact that laboratories recently established in the states are not working optimally. “You will recall that we moved from two laboratories to about 90 (Public and Private) located in all states of the Federation. “Their inability to function optimally has resulted in unacceptable levels of delay in receiving results and pressure on the National Reference Labs. We wish to urge all states to reopen all laboratories and ensure that testing is expanded and turnaround time for results is substantially reduced”. “We are also seeing increasing transmission among younger people and this is not considered good and safe. We must therefore exercise utmost restraint by taking responsibility,” he added. He therefore urged the states to keep their Isolation/Treatment Centres open because of the rising cases of infection nationwide adding that the National Response is passing through a challenging phase due to the seriousness of the second wave of infections in Nigeria. According to him, to date, Week 52 has so far given the nation the highest number of infections, in a single week,with the nation’s test positivity ratio (TPR) analysis indicating that 16 out of every 100 tests carried out are positive. Meanshile, the Federal Government is suspending passports of 100 travellers who failed to undergo the compulsory COVID-19 test after returning into the country. The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this at the PTF briefing on Tuesday. Mustapha said, “With effect from 1st January 2021 the passports of the first 100 passengers that failed to take their day seven post-arrival PCR test will be published in the national dailies. ”The passports, as a deterrent, will also be suspended till June 2021.” The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control on Monday announced 397 new infections of the Coronavirus in the country. The agency announced that deaths as a result of COVID-19 related complications had increased by 10, while 323 patients across the country had been discharged after testing negative for the virus. A total number of 932,327 people have been tested since the first confirmed case relating to the COVID-19 pandemic was announced on February 27 with 12,126 active cases in existence across the country. © 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.