Barely a month after the Ekiti State Government unveiled the COVID-19 Response Hub, a Geographic Information System- a based application created to manage data on the pandemic in the state, the State Government has yet commissioned a mobile laboratory to facilitate COVID-19 testing in the state.
The Molecular Laboratory is installed at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti. The laboratory will be working in partnership with 54gene, a company set up to provide genomic data for Africa.
The COVID-19 mobile laboratory newly commissioned by the State Government is fully equipped with essential testing instruments and biosafety materials which includes an autoclave, biosafety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.
54gene company, as a part of partnership plan, is set to furnish 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 Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, at the commissioning event said with the installation and commissioning of the laboratory, Ekiti State now has a testing capacity of up to 400 tests daily and will be conducting tests across all 16 local government areas to facilitate early detection of the coronavirus and ensure timely and adequate treatment of an infected person.
Governor Fayemi mentioned the COVID-19 mobile lab will remain in the State even after the pandemic is completely gone and would be utilized as a fully functional molecular laboratory. This is a part of its sustainability plan.
The Governor still speaking said this will foster the State’s molecular testing capabilities and may be used by medical researchers and clinicians within Ekiti State in the event of any future outbreaks.
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 the Ogun State.
The initiative is one of the interventions facilitated by the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilization 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.