Coalition Against High Cost of Covid19 Test in Lagos (COHCTL), has petitioned the Lagos State House of Assembly on what it considers the high cost of Covid19 test in Lagos State which has birthed the low percentage of the population tested so far and therefore putting government in a blind spot in terms of adequate planning and containment of the corona virus given the inaccurate figures.
COHCTL is a network of NGO’s and Civil Society Organisations with special interest in the survival and wellbeing of the citizens in the Covid19 and Post Covid era. The group is calling for a timely and swift intervention by the Lagos State House of Assembly on the reduction of the cost of Covid19 test in Lagos State, saying it will definitely expand the accessibility and increase the procurement rate by citizens in the state.
According to the group’s Co-Convener, Dotun Atilade, a collaborative independent survey conducted to appraise the response of government, citizens and the health sector one year after, revealed that the high cost of procuring the Covid 19 test in private laboratories, inadequate and inaccessible public free testing centres with their inherent inefficiency is a major militating factor against scientific and well informed response to the global pandemic in the state.
Atilade stated “Government’s response to Covid 19 has been largely cosmetic. A scientific and data driven response is lacking. Without accurate and basic data, government cannot plan nor give an informed response to the real impact of the deadly virus on citizens. With less that 2 percent of the population tested in one year, which reveals at least one in five samples tests positive, where is the comprehensive plan to combat the disease? The base figures are not accurate therefore the interventions or solutions will also not be inaccurate”.
Beyond Lagos State, the group also expressed concern that the national response towards combatting the scourge of Covid 19 in Nigeria has been grossly inadequate, especially evidenced by the number of doses of vaccines procured, matched with the national population which is influenced by the inability to see the true picture of the magnitude of the effects of the deadly virus due to poor testing.
The group’s petition which is a public health advocacy is adverting the attention and seeking the intervention of the Lagos State House of Assembly, with a view to the reduction of the high cost of procuring the Covid 19 test in Lagos through the powers of the representatives of the people by the Lagos State Government.