The Plateau State Government, on Thursday, gave an insight into the seemingly high number of COVID-19 infections in the state in recent weeks.
It also said despite the increase in awareness about the pandemic in the state, there is wide non-adherence to laid down preventive guidelines.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner, Information and Communication, Dan Manjang, in Jos the State capital.
Manjang said, “While the government is concerned about the situation and continues to work towards overcoming it, the following explanations for the current scenario of the pandemic in the State would suffice:
“There is an 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.
According to him, “As at today (20th August 2020) records show that 23,396 samples have been collected across the State and sent to the laboratory, out of which, 21,015 results have been received.
“This makes Plateau State among the states with highest testing rate in the country. In fact, Plateau State is one of the few to have tested all its civil servants and continues to test other citizens”, he explained.
‘’Due to slow pace of processing samples, not all test results are released immediately thereby resulting in backlogs.
“For example, as at today (20th August, 2020), there are 2, 301 results pending at the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom testing centre alone, due to high traffic.”
The Commissioner further explained that, “Whenever such backlogs are released, it accounts for the high figures recorded against the State by the NCDC which might be misconstrued as daily figures.
“Despite the fact that there is increased awareness about the pandemic in the State, Government has noted wide non-adherence and or compliance to laid down protocols of wearing face masks, social distancing and hand washing by many citizens.
“Government hereby uses this opportunity to call on its citizens to remain calm and strictly adhere to the protocols as these numbers will subside after the samples awaiting test are exhausted, and the situation normalises”, he maintained.
It might interest the public to know that the government spends humongous amounts of money to provide free medication and other forms of support for those infected with the disease.
“Regrettably, 25 deaths related to COVID-19 have been recorded in the State which represents 1.2 percent fatality rate, a figure that is by far lower than other States that have recorded well over 2 percent”, he lamented.
Manjang said, Governor Simon Lalong is worried with the loss of lives, and has remained determined to ensure that no further casualty is recorded in the state.
The Information and Communication Commissioner assures citizens of government’s support.
He called on the citizenry to continue to observe the COVID-19 preventive protocols of “handwashing with soap under running water, use of certified sanitizers, wearing of face masks and maintaining social distancing.”