The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has been urged to make public the daily number of Nigerians screened for Coronavirus.
A coalition of civil society groups led by Civic Media Lab said the figures will help Nigerians and the world know the true state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“The fight against Coronavirus is a common fight in which all Nigerians are enlisted.
“However, as stakeholders in the fight against Coronavirus this disease, we request to have this critical piece of the puzzle so that we would know how far along we are in securing a victory,” CML Director, Oluwaseun Akinfolarin, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Akinfolarin said the strategy that has worked in places that have seen significant reduction in the number of cases has been due to four factors namely: testing, isolation, treatment and tracing.
“Testing is the most critical of these four critical success factors, without testing, it is difficult to know who has been infected and stopping the spread through innocent infection of others is not feasible. “While not trying to second guess the knowledge and wisdom of the professionals in NCDC, we can follow the simple logic that we cannot control what you cannot see and the simple way of seeing is by doing these tests,” Akinfolarin said.
According to the World Health Organisation, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is critical in helping to track the virus, understand the epidemiology, inform case management, and to suppress transmission.
Akinfolarin explained that the countries that are successfully managing this crisis tested thousands of citizens daily at the outset.
Nigeria is falling behind when compared to other countries, according to him.
He said the coalition will support the Federal Government and NCDC in every way possible during this crisis but wishes to demand cooperation, transparency, accountability and proactive disclosure of information from all those concerned.
Other members of the coalition are The Interactive Initiative for Social Impact, HEDA Resource Centre, Civil Society Network against Corruption, Reboot, Centre for Advocacy, Transparency and Accountability Initiative, and PARE.