The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has insisted that coronavirus (COVID-19) tests conducted within its molecular laboratories across the country are free.
It stated this on Sunday via its verified Twitter handle.
According to the agency, the scale-up of testing is key in assessing the nation’s COVID-19 situation and coordinating response across the country.
The 61 NCDC facilities are located in 30 states across the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Some of them include the State Specialist Hospital, Amachara in Abia State; Federal Medical Centre, Yola, Adamawa; Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Akwa Ibom; and Virology Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, among others.
NCDC’s tweet came amid the controversy over the COVID-19 tests to be conducted for SS3 students preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Ogun State.
Ahead of the resumption of revision classes for the students, the state government had asked them to take the tests for COVID-19 and malaria.
While the government said it would be responsible for the cost for students in public schools, it asked parents/ owners of private schools to do the same for their students.
This led to a protest in Abeokuta, the state capital by some parents of private school students over the purported payment of N25,000 for the test.
In its reaction, the government said it has decided to further assist the private schools by negotiating “a huge discount” in the cost of the COVID-19 test with some healthcare service providers.
It, however, advised private school owners and parents to engage any other service provider of their choice as long as they were certified by the NCDC as COVID-19 Test service providers.
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