By Balogun Damilola
The head of Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control issued an urgent plea for supplies to scale up testing.
“We’re desperately looking for more RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) extraction kits as we expand #COVID19 testing,” said Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu on Twitter.
With an estimated population of 200 million, Nigeria has only managed about 11,000 tests since the outbreak began, confirming about 1,500 cases.
In comparison, South Africa, which has close to 60 million people, has conducted over 185,000 tests.
Ethiopia has conducted just over 15,000 – but has a population of around 114 million, which means that its testing rate is considerably higher than Nigeria’s.
Fierce global competition with countries in Europe and Asia, many of which experienced outbreaks earlier, have made it challenging for African countries to get hold of testing equipment.