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DPR sanctions antigen rapid diagnostic tests for offshore oil workers

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Oil workers

To increase production, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has recommended the use of Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag-RDTs) for offshore workers in the oil and gas industry.

The regulator, in a circular yesterday to the sector’s operators and service providers on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had granted Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for two Ag-RDTs which were SD Biosensor and Abbott with the above 80 per cent sensitivity and above 97 per cent specificity.

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According to the correspondence, signed by the Head, Public Affairs, Paul Osu, the DPR said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had equally approved their deployment in Nigeria as contained in the ‘Guidance for the Use of Approved COVID-19 Ag-RDTs’ in January this year.

“Consequently, the DPR is by this circular, advising operators and service providers to commence the use of these approved Ag-RDTs with the aim of addressing the cost implications and psychological impacts on staff due to the current practice of mandatory seven to 10 days isolation to and from offshore/remote locations.

“Ag-RDTs can typically be conducted within a short turnaround time of 10 to 30 minutes by medical personnel with the requisite training,” the document added.

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