The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) on Thursday said the test kits recently developed by the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), cannot be deployed to test for COVID-19, as they are yet to be confirmed.

It said it was working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that the two World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) pre-qualified antigen rapid test kits go through validation as soon as they arrive in the country.

Of the 33 brands of rapid/PCR test kits evaluated by the MLSCN, all of them failed to meet the minimum acceptable criteria in terms of sensitivity and specificity. The agency, therefore, stated that none of the test kits was recommended for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection testing in Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja on the report of the second batch pre-market validation of COVID-19 test kits in Nigeria, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of MLSCN, Dr Tosan Erhabor, said, “The two test kits that are on CNN and that have been trending have not been subjected to validation by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria.

“For us as an organisation, when we heard of those breakthroughs we were excited and reached out to our sister organisations, congratulating them for their wonderful feat. We’re still using this medium to call on NIPRD and NIMR to subject their kits for validation. You cannot produce the kit, validate it yourself, and you say it should be used in our country. That is not the process.