#Covid-19 Rivers State : Rivers State Government commences coronavirus tests at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital

In continuation of the fight against the spread of coronavirus in Rivers State,  the Rivers State Government has formally commenced coronavirus testing at the molecular laboratory of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital. 

Health Professionals tested samples  at the RIVERS STATE RSUTH COVID 19 TESTING CENTER on Friday. This will be a coordinated exercise that is aimed at heightening the fight against coronavirus. 
The Rivers State RSUTH COVID-19  Testing Centre is functioning with two PCR Machines from Shell Petroleum Development Company and the third from Total E and P.

Chief Medical Director of Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron said that the lab has come on stream to assist the State fight coronavirus. 

He said: "This evening we are here to celebrate,  because it has been our goal to get a testing in Rivers State . Today , I am happy to announce that we can now do COVID-19 tests at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital courtesy of the Rivers State Government ably led by our own Governor,  Nyesom Ezenwo Wike. 

"We also thank our partners,  SPDC and Total,  who have continued to work with us to fight coronavirus. 
The NCDC were here to install and activate the PCR machines .

"Since yesterday,  we started running tests and by this evening,  we will have results come from our lab. The good thing is that we have 3 PCR Machines that will serve Rivers people. "

He thanked Governor Wike for working hard to get a world class lab that will ensure  more people are tested and treated. 

He said: "We also have edged over other states because we received a donation of over 3000 test kits and we have kits that came with the machines. 

"In this Hospital , we have a state of the art molecular laboratory before now. That lab we use it for HIV/AIDS,  Hepatitis B and C. The NCDC said for COVID-19 testing we should get another laboratory.  We have been able to meet up that request. 

"I congratulate our Governor and Rivers people for this achievement.  It is undergoing safety checks and we then get the approval of the NCDC to start collecting samples ."

The Chief Medical Director of Rivers State University Teaching Hospital however said that people are not expected to come to the laboratory because samples will be collected from the State Treatment Centre at Eleme and the State Ministry of Health. 

Okoli Innocent, Biomedical Engineer, NCDC, National Reference Laboratory said that they were in the state to install and activate the laboratory. 

"We are very happy with the progress the State has made in setting up of this lab.
We are confident that this lab can handle the challenge of testing for COVID-19. 

"We have three PCR Machines that can test 270 samples a day," he said. 

Dr. Akinwumi Fajola, Regional Community Health Manager, SPDC-JV expressed happiness at the setting up of the coronavirus test lab in the state

He said: "We are very excited about what is happening here especially for the people of Rivers State. We are partnering with the Rivers State Government and we have been able to donate two PCR machines which are not at work at the RSUTH. 

"We have also provided test kits, we have provided RNA extraction test kits and all those things that will help the molecular biology testing in this laboratory. 

"We are excited about what the Rivers State Government has done here, very good facility. I am happy about the infection prevention and control at this facility. "