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COVID-19: Poor Lagosians Unable to To Pay For Test As Private Labs Demand N50,000

On Friday, Ade ( not real name) drove to the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, to have a COVID-19 test for his daughter who just returned from the village, where she spent the festive season in 2020.

Ade, a driver, went to the laboratory section, where he had his test in June last year and was redirected to visit any of the listed accredited centres for the test.

He brought out his small telephone handset and requested for assistance to input information on the phone to enable him to access the centre closest to where he lives.

But Ade was disappointed when he drove his daughter home after discovering he had to pay a minimum of N50,000 at the private centre to have a test for her.

“I had been here before to have my test in June (2020) before I resumed work since it was a compulsory requirement and I had it free. In fact, there was a crowd unlike now that it’s scanty. 

“I brought my daughter to have her test too because she just got back from the festivities and was told to visit any of the accredited centres where I have to pay N50,000. I am going home,” Ade said.

HumAngle found that to have a COVID-19 test in Lagos, the applicant has to pay a minimum of N50,000 to an accredited private testing centre.

The applicant pays the non-refundable fee through the centre’s online platform after which a date would be scheduled for the test and collection of result.

At Yaba Infectious Disease Hospital

The reporter visited the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, requested to have a COVID-19 test and was directed to go to any accredited centre in the city.

The nurse who spoke to the reporter asked, “Why are you having the test? If it is to check for your status, please visit (any of)/ the accredited centres on the list.”

The Lagos State Government, in June 2020,  granted approval to seven private laboratories to carry out COVID-19 tests as part of an effort to expand the testing capacity in the state.

These laboratories: Total Medical Services, SynLab, 54 Gene, Medbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services and Clina Lancent Laboratories, were approved to only carry out PCR testing.

Residents are expected to book for a COVID-19 test online and make a minimum payment of N50,000. A convenient time would be scheduled for the test and collection of the result.

However, at IDH, Yaba, investigation revealed that COVID-19 tests are only carried out on applicants for specific reasons, such as travelling, at an undisclosed amount.

While HumAngle keeps a daily analysis of daily reported cases in the country,  Lagos State has since the outbreak of the virus infection in Nigeria led the chart as the most affected with 26 per cent of the total cases confirmed nationwide.

The state was equally hit by the second wave of the pandemic after it began to pull in over 500 daily record of cases since the beginning of the year. In 17 days, Lagos has recorded a total of 10, 436 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Lagos State has recorded 22,562 COVID-19 cases out of the national total of over 110,000 confirmed cases as well as 220 deaths of the national mortality figure of 1,435 from the virus infection.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without proper attribution to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement.

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