COVID-19: Why There Is An Upsurge Of Cases In Plateau – State Govt
The Plateau Government has attributed the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the State to more testing, among other factors.
“There is Increase in community testing for the disease as Plateau State has 3 testing Centres at NVRI Vom, Plateau State Specialist Hospital and Jos University Teaching Hospital,” the State’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang explained in a statement on Thursday.
Since Sunday, August 16th, 2020, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), showed that the Northcentral state has reported 189 fresh COVID-19 infections and had the highest new cases of the virus on Wednesday, 19th August, a situation the Commissioner admitted to as worrying.
Giving an insight into testing capacity, Manjang said Plateau is one of the states with the highest testing rates in Nigeria, with over 23, 000 samples so far collected and 21,015 results gotten.
“In fact, Plateau State is one of the few to have tested all its civil servants and continues to test other citizens,” the commissioner said.
Even though the State Government is making efforts to increase testing capacity, the Information Commissioner regretted that the slow pace of sample processing has resulted in backlogs which, whenever they are released, lead to a spike in new cases that might be mistaken for daily figures.
While buttressing this fact, he said: “as at today (20/8/2020), there are 2,301 results pending at the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom testing centre alone, due to high traffic.”
According to Manjang, while the Plateau Government is ramping up awareness about the pandemic, there is generally a lack of non-adherence to COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of face masks, hand washing and social distancing by residents of the State.
Residents of the State should, therefore, remain calm despite the high cases and stick to protocols in place, the statement said, assuring that the number of infections will reduce in the coming days.
The Commissioner said notwithstanding the number of deaths – 983 as of Thursday morning- Governor Simon Lalong, “remains determined to ensure that no further casualty is recorded.”
Data from the NCDC indicate that Plateau is the fifth most infected state in the West African country with 2,071 cases as of 11:15 pm, Thursday, August 20th, 2020,