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COVID-19: Plateau confirms 2 positive cases out of 54 – Health Commissioner

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lar Ndam Nimkong, has said the NCDC came out with the result of 54 people tested and two were positive. “The two came from one of our quarantine centers and those two people have been taken to isolation centers for treatment.”

He nevertheless observed that, “Unfortunately for those people in the quarantine center, including those positive, there was no social distancing so they had to be re-quarantined on Monday to observe another 14-day quarantine.”

The commissioner was speaking in an interview with newsmen in Jos on the index cases of the Coronavirus in the state on Monday.

Speaking on the first case recorded, he said, “She is in good condition of health and enjoying herself, while treatment is ongoing. We made everything good for her, like installment of a television, so she is comfortable and, her follow-up result as of now is negative, and we are trying to do the second one.

“There is great hope and the Covid-19 is not a death sentence, and she will be discharged very soon. There are different levels of this disease; first is the people at risk, which are the people coming from places having the outbreak of Covid-19 and that is level 1.

“Level 2 are people that have the disease but it is mild, and those are the people being put in treatment centers. Then we have people that have the severe cases, which will need oxygen and ventilators and also close monitoring; and we have 5 isolation centers: JUTH, Bingham, Plateau Hospital, and Pankshin Hospital.”

Dr. Nimkong stressed that, “PPA is a major issue and they are costly, but the government is trying her best to reuse; so, we believe that, if we get the materials we could sew it and make it available for these workers. It is costly to use and discard immediately.

“The Nigerian Center for Disease Control has confirmed 220 new cases of COVID-19, bringing total cases in the country to 2388, while two of the cases are from Plateau State, which brings total cases in the State to three.

“The first case in the State was confirmed on April 23, 2020, of a Kano returning traveler, currently on treatment. Details of the two new cases have yet to be released, but sources say a man with severe symptoms of the disease was admitted in the same ward with the index case on Monday.

“He is thought to also be a returning traveler,” he stated, noting that, “no information exists about the second new case yet, but might equally be a returning traveler.

“The State has witnessed a surge in illegal entries since its first lockdown on April 9, 2020. Many of them are from Lagos, which currently has the highest confirmed cases and highest daily cases.”

He noted that “At any of our Covid-19 meetings, border management has been our major issue and that is why the government tried to install CCTVs, but Nigerians are very crafty where they do not use their normal routes to get into the State.

“I think we have warned a lot of security officials to make sure those disobeying the law should go back because the lockdown says ‘no coming into the state.’ We think they are giving them money,” he lamented.

Dr. Nimkong also revealed that, “The ministry has been training people in our Lab, who have finished their training on Monday. First, we had training on Case Management in JUTH before the first index case. They were thoroughly trained for three days and, after that, we did it for Disease Notification for surveillance officers in all the 17 local governments.”

He stressed that, “We have one more training, which is: Detection, Prevention and Control for a large number of frontline workers.

“There are many issues, like the challenge of shortage in manpower – we need more people to be able to fight the pandemic; the other challenge is money; we need so many things money can provide. The government cannot do it alone; we need support, we can even get volunteers and pay them. Like some people on the quarantine centers in B/Ladi we use hotels, meaning, the cost is so much.”

The commissioner urged the people of the state not to panic and assured that the state government through the ministry of health is doing their best to fight the pandemic.

He called on the people to report any strange persons coming into the state so that they would be able to identify them and accordingly put them in the quarantine centers for safty.

Dr. Nimkong also urged the people to take the preventive measures seriously, since government has given some space for people to move around, saying, “You do not know where your neighbor came from; he/she might be hiding the disease, and also were a mask. With God at your side, we should be able to win.”

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