Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja have suggested to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to extend the test for COVID-19 to the general public.
The residents who were reacting to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the FCT, made the call in separate interviews with the Our correspondents on Monday in Abuja.
Mr Godwin Emmanuel, an accountant, said that if the NCDC could go public with the test, those likely to be infected would be quarantined, thereby curtailing the spread of the virus.

He said government should facilitate the process of the test by making the machines available, in order to test “at least 60 per cent of FCT residents.”

Emmanuel said if this was done, with those testing positive quarantined, it would then dawn on the people to take the preventive measures outlined by the NCDC more seriously.

He added that in this case, the 14 days lockdown ordered by government would not be enough for the exercise.

According to him, the 14 days period is to curb the spread of the virus by those who got infected earlier.

Mr Henry Oshiokhamele , Asset Manager, Asa Mansard Pensions Ltd., said it would be helpful if free tests were conducted in selective centres with clusters of people.

He further said the measure would help track infected citizens quickly as well as enable residents to know their current status.

“We can do that if the political will is there; free tests can be conducted in some wards if we have the facilities.

“It is possible and people who test positive can be easily identified and quarantined to avoid random spread of this disease,’’ Oshiokhamele said.

Isah Abbas, a statistician, noted there were some people who did not easily show symptoms of the virus even after testing positive, hence the need for quarantine.

He also called on the NCDC to carry out more tests on the public to effectively establish the true number of people infected.

“It is a pathetic situation that the NCDC keeps announcing more people who are infected with the virus each day and the number keeps growing.

“This means that the more the tests are carried out, the more the number keeps increasing and this means that the virus is spreading at an alarming rate,’’ he said.

Abbas said he supported the idea of extending the tests to reach 60 to 70 per cent of FCT residents.

Mrs Vivian Kelechi, a teacher, also said the NCDC should conduct the tests on as many FCT residents as could be reached.

She lamented that the virus had caused a lot of “havoc’’ on the economy by putting everything on a standstill.

Kelechi noted that although Nigeria’s condition was worrisome, it was not as gruesome as those of other countries in Europe and America that had recorded huge numbers of deaths.

“Nobody knows what is to be expected at this moment as the number of infected people keeps mounting.

“I think it is better to carry out extensive tests and quarantine those infected to avoid further spread,’’ she said. Nigerian Pilot