Stella Dimoko CACOVID Orders Supplies For 400,000 COVID-19 Tests To Increase Nigeria's Testing Capacity


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Monday, April 20, 2020

CACOVID Orders Supplies For 400,000 COVID-19 Tests To Increase Nigeria's Testing Capacity

The Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has ordered for 250,000 supplies for tests and another 150,000 extraction kits to fast-track molecular testing for the deadly coronavirus, noting that the reality of the situation at hand was such that efforts must be put together with no stone left unturned in dealing with the scourge.

The coalition also disclosed that no less than 1.7 million households would benefit from its food relief package as part of complementary efforts to help alleviate the effects of the lockdown and restrictions adopted by governments across the nation.

Briefing newsmen in Lagos on the group's activities in helping the Federal Government halt the spread of the virus, leaders of CACOVID stated that the coalition has set up isolation centers in five states of Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Borno and Enugu as well as FCT, while renovations of hospitals and medical supplies are being carried out in other states.

Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Zouera Youssoufou explained that all the partners in CACOVID are ready to roll out in all parts of the country having commenced building and equipping of isolation centers in some states.

According to her, there are currently three testing platforms for molecular testing in Nigeria, one of which is the “Open PCR machines”, which the Coalition has ordered for 10 units, with eight laboratories certified to conduct COVID-19 tests.

Ms. Youssoufou said, “Open PCR machine is currently the standard platform. Eight labs in Nigeria are certified to conduct COVID-19 testing; 10 new PCR machines and 150,000 extraction kits have been ordered. The other is Roche Cobus Platform with 6 Machines in Nigeria, each capable of testing 960 tests at a time. Nigeria was on track to receive 38,000 but we have ordered 250,000. 10,000 tests ordered by UNICEF have arrived on Thursday, April 16.

“We also have Cepheid Gene Expert Machines – there are 400 machines installed in the country. 250 are expected to be functional with trained lab technicians. Cepheid has developed a COVID-19 testing cartridge that has received FDA approval, and will begin shipping to Africa in two weeks. We have ordered 250,000 cartridges and expect shipment receipt in two weeks.”

In his remarks, Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said the Coalition right from the onset knew the fight against coronavirus was not going to be easy but would require collaborative efforts of all.

He said the CACOVID-19 is approaching the fight against the virus from three levels, “One, it was clear from beginning that no one institution can go it alone, so we solicit everybody’s cooperation in tackling this scourge. Two, while several measures are being taken to stop the spread, including lockdowns, restriction, social distancing, there is the need to address the hunger. How do we cater for the feeding needs of the people if these measures are to be effective?”

Wigwe explained that the third level was the thought leadership aspect of the plan which is to tackle the post-pandemic aspect. According to him, "a lot of businesses have been badly affected and economies have been disrupted. How do we get them back to life after we might have defeated the coronavirus?"

The Access Bank GMD explained the modalities to be adopted to get the food relief materials to the targeted households, pointing out that it would be done from the bottom of the pyramid, which is the 774 local government areas where the CACOVID partners would be assigned to deliver the materials.

He said he was optimistic that the food relief materials would reach all intended beneficiaries because, according to him, it was a path that has already been trodden by Aliko Dangote Foundation, which has been distributing foods to the vulnerable in the states and has been achieving results.

Also, responding during the briefing, the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ferdi Moolman urged other private sector organisations which are yet to identify with CACOVID in the onerous task to join hands and make their modest contributions.

Justifying why no organisation could afford to stay aloof, Mr. Moolman said the whole world is not at peace presently and every nation is on its own fighting the battle of COVID-19.


  1. Talk talk no action.
    They should start sharing the food items already, enough of this audio abeg

    1. Awesome, if you watch the news, you'll know the extent of work that is ongoing.

      They should start "sharing". What a shameful place you have trained your brain to be.

      It's the private sector. People that used not only their opportunities but most importantly their brain to get to where they are.

      They DO NOT have to assist (though it's always great to give) , they chose to. Entitled people stop growing at exactly your present spot awesome.


    2. The private sector make their money (profit) from *people* so, their CSR is not just to give back but to ensure loyal patronage from *people* and build their corporate image locally and internationally (goodwill).
      There is *something* in it for them.

      The *people* are the *reason* for the existence of these businesses/companies.

      Now, I do not support entitlement mentality. I am an ardent advocate of productivity by every healthy person and touching the lives of the vulnerable.

    3. 11:14, thank you for your contribution and mature response.

      I also took note of your last paragraph which formed the basis of my initial response to BV Awesome.

      Whilst the private sector makes "some" of their revenue from the people (remember that it is in exchange for goods or services), let us not forget that the people do not join them in their business highs,lows etc.

      CSR is more of a moral obligation, humanitarian service..... it is not a MUST.

      And where and when they do, the "people" cannot dictate the "how" or the "what".

      I hope we also know that all over the world, "some" large corporate organisations get tax concessions/waivers to the tune declared by them . Once again, thank you.

    4. 7:52 I want to also say that this Covid-19 pandemic is a learning curve for the private sector and hard-knock for the Federal & State Governments.

      Companies should structure their CSR to consistently impact the lowest levels of society strategically rather than peripherally.

      For instance, in addition to landscaping, beautification, Christmas and Children's parties, these corporate organizations including banks should partner with the public sector/government to build standardized habitable low-cost houses in the slums and rural communities, support healthcare, provide portable water etc.
      These amenities could be subsidized by the Federal and State Governments.

      Covid-19 has brought to the fore the impracticability of social distancing and maintenance of personal hygiene in the slums.

  2. That's a good one. May God help us all

  3. If they allow this to work smoothly... it will yield tremendous results πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  4. Replies
    1. Good news o. It's so annoying that I met a well educated Nigeria youth today still saying covid-19 is a scam, for him God has prevented it from coming to Africa the reason for low death rate that governors are faking the numbers to make money.

  5. Ghana has tested above 60,000. S.A has tested above 110,000. My Nigeria tested only 7,153. I'm seriously worried. When Prof Abayomi was talking this afternoon, he said they increased testing in Lagos from 400 to 1500. Imagine, 1500 in a state that has a densely population of about 20,000,000. God please fight for us!

    1. Berry, please let's continue to encourage these workers.

      The kits aren't free. They are expensive and tests carried out are done free of charge.

      The US has tested millions and over 41k have died. Ghana has over 1k cases though their death rate is fantastic. Below 10; 9 or so. They adhered to the lockdown order!!! Kudos to them.

      They have increased testing centres. That's good news. Let's remember that it's not just about the tests and equipping the centres, personnel have to be trained to administer these tests carefully and successfully. An error in test results is as bad or even worse off than not testing.

      The medical field is grossly understaffed. Even in the UK and especially during a period like this. How many of us have volunteered to serve on the frontline?

      Every country is doing so much in front and behind the scenes.

      These people also read blogs and are on social media. Like the UK and some European countries, let's hail them every day. Let's give them twitter shout outs. Let's encourage them. We all put in the extra, when our efforts are not only yielding results but also acknowledged and praised.

      They are doing their jobs.

      But, let's remember, they are human and the possibility of dying isn't what they signed up for.

      Nigerians, for once, let's be appreciative. Let's not be like one " awesome BV" and others like him/ her who feels entitled to other people's money or lives.

      GOD bless all the people putting their lives and the lives of their families in danger so that we may live.

      Thank you very much guys. Thank you!

  6. This is a great initiative!

  7. This is a welcome development.


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