In a bid to improve coronavirus testing in Nigeria, the federal government has developed a molecular test kit named the SARS-COV-2 Isothermal Molecular Assay (SIMA).

This was disclosed by the Minister of state for health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, September 29. According to him, the test kit which was developed by the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) can produce results in less than 40 minutes.

The Minister also revealed that the new test kit is faster than the Reverse Transcription- Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) which is currently the main source of Coronavirus testing in the country, and also ten times cheaper than PCR. He said that the test kit can be deployed for point of care detection and surveillance.

Mr Mamora said, “The Nigeria Institute of Medical Research has developed a molecular test for COVID-19 that can give results in less than 40 minutes. It is the SARS-COV-2 Isothermal Molecular Assay (SIMA) which can be performed by low skilled personnel with minimum training.”

According to the NCDC, all the 36 states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory have so far recorded a case of COVID-19. Also, Lagos State still holds the record for the most cases in Nigeria.

So far, 58,647 cases have been confirmed, 49,937 cases have been discharged and 1111 deaths have been recorded.

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