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Following approvals by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control-NCDC, the Akwa Ibom State Polymerase Chain Reaction-PCR laboratory at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Ituk Mbang will soon begin testing for COVID 19 and other infectious diseases.

At a courtesy call on the chairman of the state COVID 19 team and secretary to the state government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the leader of the delegation, Mr Bamidele Oluwafemi commended the State Government for single-handedly building the Isolation centre with the inbuilt Laboratory with Category 3 PCR Machine and described the isolation centre with Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory as one of the best in the country.

He noted that within the period of their stay in the state, the team had  inspected the facility and carried out trainings on personnel at the Isolation Centre on how to carry out COVID-19 test and interpret results.

Emphasizing that everything at the centre was up to the expected standard of NCDC, the team leader said the state owned Polymerase Claim Reaction (PCR) Laboratory at the Ituk Mbang 300-bed capacity International Isolation Centre has been fully activated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Oluwafemi stressed that “with the  assessment, approval and activation of the Laboratory, testing Of Samples of Suspected Covid 19 Infected Persons will Commence in the State in few days.

Responding, Dr Ekuwem who thanked the NCDC team for their efforts, also appreciated Governor Emmanuel for prioritizing the health of the people.

According to him, the importance of adequate health facilities by the Udom Emmanuel led government cannot be overemphasised.

“Governor Emmanuel has placed the health care of his people as a priority of his administration and has invested heavily on standard health equipment across the entire state.

“On behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, I express our heartfelt gratitude to the team from the NCDC for visiting our state to painstakingly inspect and evaluate the kind of facility we have in the premises of General Hospital, Ituk Mbang,” he added.

The Commissioner for Health Dr Dominic Ukpong expressed appreciation to the NCDC team for the approval of the lab.

He said the approval implies that in a few days from now, covid 19 samples will be tested in the state.

Reacting to this, Prof Anietie Moses of the University Of Uyo, said the lab will serve as a research centre for Microbiology students,  adding that the University of Uyo will collaborate with the state Govt to ensure sustainability of the facility.

On his part, Prof Tatfeng Mirabeau of the University of Uyo, described the Lab as one of the best in the country.

He said the lab has the capacity to carry out 180 tests per day. He also hinted that aside from Covid 19 test, other tests like cancer and any other infectious disease can be conducte in the PCR lab.

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