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South Korea donates 30,000 COVID-19 test kit to Nigerian govt

South Korea has donated 30,000 made-in-Korea diagnostic kits to the Presidential Task Force PTF, on COVID-19. The kits were Korea’s appreciation of the Nigerian government’s effort to tackle the pandemic.

The test kits were handed over to the PTF by the outgoing Ambassador of Korea to Nigeria, His Excellency, Lee In-Tae rtd., in Abuja yesterday.

According to the Embassy, the made-in-Korea COVID-19 diagnostic kits achieved global popularity owing to its ability to confirm patients COVID-19 status within 4 hours, as opposed to other test kits that took one to two days. It also has a higher accuracy record of 80 to 85 per cent, compared to diagnostic kits made in China and Europe which have less than 80 per cent accuracy.

At the onset of the pandemic, when there was no dedicated test method, the Pan-coronavirus test method was used. This requires that a patient’s sample is collected and if it tests positive for coronavirus, it’s compared with six coronaviruses including MERS and SARS. If the virus from the patient does not match the existing coronavirus, it was confirmed as COVID-19. It is this two-step testing process after collection that delays diagnosis.

However, the Korean test kits by using a real time gene amplification test (Real Time RT-PCR) method, amplifies the virus after the collection of a sample from the patient, replicating a large number of genes.  It makes for a faster and higher accuracy testing.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ambassador In-Tae said Nigeria can always count on Korea in times of need as a ‘true friend’. In-Tae who highlighted the long-term diplomatic relations between both countries which clocked 40 years in 2020, reaffirmed Korea’s strong solidarity with Nigerians saying, “Korea will continue to support Nigeria so that together we can win this war against COVID-19.

Since the pandemic, Korea has supported Nigeria in the battle against the virus through donations of facial masks and PPEs to both the federal and state governments, palliatives to the host community of the Korea Nigeria Model School. Korean companies such as Samsung Heavy Industries gifted 5000 PCR test kits to the federal government, while Hyundai Motors donated PPEs worth N35 million to the Lagos State government.

Source: Leadership Newspaper

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