February 4, 2023

Covid-19: Increased testing behind rising figures in Plateau – Officials

Increasing disregard for Covid-19 protocols worries government

Plateau currently ranks 5th among Nigerian States with high cases of Covid-19. As of Friday 21st August 2020, the State had 2,109 confirmed cases out of 51,304 total confirmed cases in the country.

The State confirmed its first case on April 22, 2020, recording scores more on a near daily basis. Twice, it had the highest number of daily confirmed cases in Nigeria. Its latest lead ranking in daily confirmed cases was on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 when it recorded 186 cases.

More high numbers have emerged from the State since then; 28 on Thursday, 38 on Friday but officials say it was nothing to worry about.

The State Commissioner of Information, Dan Manjang said in a press statement, “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.

“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.

“Due to slow pace of processing samples, not all test results are released immediately thereby resulting in backlogs.

“For example, 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. 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.”

Furthermore, only 25 deaths representing 1.2 percent fatality rate have been recorded in connection to the pandemic, a figure that is “by far lower than other States”, said the Commissioner.

Government he said is however worried by the spread of the disease and is encouraging citizens to increase compliance to laid down guidelines.