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Covid-19: Policy expert advocates compulsory test centres in all states

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A governance and policy expert, Mr Oseloka Obaze says all the 36 states and Abuja should be given equal capacity to manage cases of the coronavirus and also contain the spread.

Oseloka, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Anambra made the call in a statement on Monday.

He said though Lagos and Abuja were getting their deserved capacity support as the leading vulnerable cuties of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, it was important to extend the assistance to other states as they were not completely immune.

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Oseloka called for a nationally coordinated framework that could avert a possible explosive pandemic should the virus stray into some of the ill-prepared states.

He commended the Lagos State government for its response, strategy and advocated that voluntary test centres be set up across the country.

“In the absence of a national resiliency strategy, Nigerian authorities are doing their utmost to battle the raging COVID-19 pandemic within the available disaster response framework and financial resources.

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“These efforts are commendable, yet Nigeria is courting explosive pandemic disaster with its mitigating response methods, the ongoing national response is unwittingly missing the eye of the storm.

“The mitigating focus is now on Lagos and the FCT, the two gateway spheres and 10 states with the active 110-plus cases.

“Any missed index cases or contacts on the loose, not tested or traced to the remaining 26 states, leaves the virus on a free fly and those states vulnerable to massive infection explosion.

“Left unchecked, and with the multiplier-effect, those 24 states retain the potential of becoming Nigeria’s hotspots by the month of July and beyond.

“Efforts must shift immediately to commence and ramp up continuous voluntary testing sites in those residual 26 states before the infection explosion rates becomes uncontainable,’’ he said.

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