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COVID-19; Nigeria seals health facility issuing fake COVID-19 test results

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has sealed a health centre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for issuing fake COVID-19 test results to unsuspecting individuals.

The Director-General of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, while speaking at the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) briefing, on Monday, said the centre has been collecting money from intending travellers and issuing fake results in return.

Mr Ihekweazu noted that COVID-19 test samples were collected by the centre but there was no evidence that the tests were carried out.

He said his agency swung into action following an investigative report by The cable Newspaper which showed the illicit racketeering of COVID-19 test results by officials of the Port Health Services (PHS) at the Abuja Airport.

“Last week, the FCT Administration supported us in an investigation that ended up in the sealing of one of those testing centre in Abuja. This centre had been collecting funds from citizens and issuing fake results,” Mr Ihekweazu said.

“In these fake laboratories and testing sites, samples are collected but there is no evidence they are tested.”

He said the act is fraudulent and can contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus which could lead to loss of lives.

He appealed to the general public to desist from patronising such centres and visit the NCDC COVID-19 site to get accurate information on accredited testing centres in the country.

He said his agency is fully committed to supporting all states and the FCT to ensure efficient testing of patients.

“From our end, we are at the final stage of deploying a platform through which every private laboratory in the country will be reporting their results and every result out of Nigeria will be verified by any airline, embassy and foreign country,” Mr Ihekweazu said.

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