UPDATE 1-Nigerian authorities cite need for more COVID-19 test sample collections

ABUJA, Sept 3- Nigerian authorities are disturbed by the low level of coronavirus test sample collections, a senior government official said on Thursday. Africa’s most populous country of some 200 million inhabitants, as of Thursday had 54,463 confirmed coronavirus cases which have resulted in 1,027 deaths. The continent’s number of new cases fell 11% in the…

By Felix Onuah

ABUJA, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Nigerian authorities are disturbedby the low level of coronavirus test sample collections, asenior government official said on Thursday.

Africa’s most populous country of some 200 millioninhabitants, as of Thursday had 54,463 confirmed coronaviruscases which have resulted in 1,027 deaths.

Boss Mustapha, who chairs the government’s task force on thedisease, said he and other officials who make up the paneloverseeing the response to the pandemic were “disturbed by thelow level of sample collection” because of the implications fortesting, tracing, and treatment.

“Despite the increased diagnostic capacity and improvedaccess to testing, the demand remains low with not enoughsamples being collected,” he said, adding that “the recentreduction in cases in some states could be attributed to lowtesting.”

Africa has fared better than expected, health experts say.The continent’s number of new cases fell 11% in the past fourweeks John Nkengasong, the head of the Africa Centres forDisease Control and Prevention, told an online news conferenceon Thursday.

However, Nkengasong said inadequate testing still means thepicture is incomplete.(Reporting by Felix Onuah;Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram;Editing by Catherine Evans)

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