Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has explained the alarm he raised about kits.
Ikekweazu made the clarification at the daily briefing of the Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
Ihekweazu on Monday tweeted: “Nigeria desperately looking for extraction kits as we expand #COVID19 testing.”
The alert drew harsh reactions as Nigerians reminded him that he earlier claimed that the country had enough resources to fight the virus.
Defending himself, the NCDC boss insisted that he gave the update to prevent shutting down of a network of 15 laboratories testing for coronavirus in Nigeria.
He said: ”On my tweet on Sunday, I asked for something called extraction kits. These are not the same as test kits. We have a supply chain of all the commodities but there are supply chain challenges in things coming into the country now.
“This is the consequence of the situation we are in now and the global demands for the same thing. These are things that we had ordered for and they are in process of coming in but we suddenly ran out.
“Rather than shut down a network of 15 laboratories in the country, I put out that tweet. While we got a lot of criticism which I expected, people came and solved that problem.”
Ihekweazu, however, announced that “people brought the extraction kits and some of them offered to give them to us for free”.
Since the index case late February, Nigeria has recorded 1337 cases of coronavirus and 40 deaths.