LASG spends N50,000 per COVID-19 test

Prof. Akin Emmanuel Abayomi , Commissioner of Health, Lagos State

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says the state spends between N40,000 and N50,000 ($102.56 – $128.21) on each test it carries out on suspected COVID-19 cases.

He said the state had, so far, spent about N800m in carrying out 16,000 coronavirus tests.

It is free to test for COVID-19 in Lagos and other parts of the country.

Abayomi, who spoke while answering reporters’ questions about the state’s response to the pandemic on Thursday, said, “We have so far performed 16,000 COVID-19 tests in Lagos, which is much higher than anywhere else in Nigeria.

“We are planning to test up to about 1,000 people per day very soon in the next month or two.

“For now, the government is providing testing free of charge and the government 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 tests, either through insurance or through some contributions from donors or from development partners to help us to subsidise the test.

“For now, the state government is providing COVID-19 tests free of charge and all citizens who need to be tested for the virus can get it done free of charge at any of our testing centres,” he said.

He said Lagos is witnessing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases because it has ramped up its testing capacity.

He said Lagos had four testing laboratories which had been in operation for almost three months, running three shifts; while the state government had also decentralised sample collection centres, with about 20 sample collection sites distributed across the state.

PUNCH HealthWise reported that the 20 sample centres had been hampered by the lack of reagents.

THE PUNCH

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