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Ekiti opens laboratory to run COVID-19 test

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The Ekiti State government has commissioned a molecular laboratory to facilitate COVID-19 testing, as part of steps to curtail the spread of the virus in the state.

The laboratory, which is installed at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti, is in partnership with 54gene, a company set up to provide genomic data for Africa.

The COVID-19 mobile laboratory acquired by the state government is fully equipped with vital testing instruments and biosafety materials, including an autoclave, biosafety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.

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54gene would also provide the state with operational support and staffing by providing molecular scientists with the necessary skill set required to handle the instruments in the mobile laboratory.

The state’s governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who spoke at the event, said with the installation and commissioning of the laboratory, Ekiti State now has a testing capacity of up to 400 tests daily.

The governor said that the state would be conducting tests across all the 16 local councils to facilitate early detection of the coronavirus and ensure timely and adequate treatment of an infected person.

He said that the COVID-19 mobile lab would remain in the state even after the pandemic has abated and would be utilised as a fully functional molecular laboratory.

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This, according to him, would bolster the state’s molecular testing capabilities and may be used by medical researchers and clinicians within in Ekiti State for any future outbreak.

The COVID-19 mobile laboratory is pioneered by 54gene, a health tech company accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which is already testing for COVID-19 in Lagos, Kano and in Ogun states.

The initiative is one of the interventions being facilitated by the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilisation Committee set up by the governor to attract effective support base to respond to the threats posed by the pandemic to citizens of Ekiti State.

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