Abia State Government has received one of the two GeneXpert equipment ordered by the Ikpeazu administration in April 2020 from the United States of America.
Meanwhile, the state rapid response team has in partnership with NCDC concluded the test run of one of the GenXpert diagnostic equipment located in the isolation center at Amachara and is expected to commence analyzing samples next week from the equipment.
Also, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Friday, donated one PCR machine to the state which the state Government is also deploying at the Amachara facility to boost the testing capacity of the state.
According to the State Commssioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, who spoke to newsmen in Umuahia on Friday, two of the testing equipment owned by the state government will be deployed in Abia State Specialist Hospital & Diagnostic Center, Umuahia, while the new GenXpert machine from the United States of America’s will be deployed at Aba to cater for the commercial city and environs.
He explained that the main advantage of the GeneXpert equipment is that it does not need an extractor thereby reducing the chances of sample contamination and as well reduce exposure of laboratory personnel to infection. He informed that the state partnered with NCDC to train the laboratory scientists that will operate the facilities.
On why the delivery of the testing equipment was delayed, Dr Osuji explained that the acute shortage of the equipment due to excess demand arising from the pandemic all over the world, especially for the type of equipment the state government wanted as well as the border closure and restricted flights during this time made it difficult to take delivery earlier.
Dr Osuji informed that the uptick in number of confirmed cases in the state is as a result of the increased number of samples collected and sent for screening by the rapid response team and explained that while the state has resources to manage the patients it is desirable to continue with aggressive case search and contact tracing as part of the plan to defeat the virus in the state.
Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Honourable Commissioner For Information