By Oluwabukola Akanni
Ibadan, Oct. 27, 2020 The Oyo State COVID-19 Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has said that only 19,600 coronavirus tests have been conducted in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic in March.
The state Epidemiologist, Dr Akinfemi Akinyode, said this on Tuesday during a day COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) training for journalists and media correspondents.
Akinyode said that despite the low number of tests conducted, COVID-19 was not yet over in the state, adding that cases had been reported in every local government area.
“The state reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 21, and since then, we have had 3,427 cases.
“As of Oct. 25, 42 deaths of coronavirus-related deaths had been recorded.
“With only 19,600 tests in a state of close to nine million population, it means that only two out of every 1,000 persons had been tested,” he said.
According to him more men had tested positive for COVID-19 in the state than women.
According to the EOC data, while 52.9 per cent were tested were men, 47.03 per cent were women.
Also 17.5 per cent of the tests resulted in positive diagnosis.
Akinyode said that while COVID-19 had infected people of all age groups, a significant percentage of people, who tested positive for the virus, were those of reproductive age.
He said that so far, the pandemic had been reported in 264 children between ages of zero and 19.
The epidemiologist said that out of the test samples collected, only 33 persons of 80 years and above were positive.
“In spite of the low testing, it is important to know that COVID-19 is still very much with us. In the last two weeks, 97 cases had been reported,” he said.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, explained that factors like stigmatisation and suspected cases refusing to test were responsible for the reduction in the COVID-19 testing rate in the state.
“We have 27 sample collection centres in all the 33 local government areas of the state.
“This is so that people can willfully visit, while testing is free in the centres,” he said.