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COVID-19: Plateau Intensifies Contact Tracing as Total Lockdown Continues

By Our Reporter

Following the confirmation of the first index case of the coronavirus disease in Plateau, the State Surveillance Team has intensified efforts to investigate the case further by ensuring that all those who came in contact with the index are traced to enable government institute other Public Health measures to curb the spread of the disease in the State.

Lalong2

Governor Simon Lalong

State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar Ndam disclosed this in an official statement on the confirmed case in the state.

The statement read in part: “The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday 23rd April 2020 released its daily COVID-19 Case Update which confirmed the first index case in Plateau State.

According to the Commissioner, the COVID-19 test was conducted on one suspected person that came into Jos from Kano on 17th April 2020 and has been on quarantine since arrival.

While efforts are on to ensure that the virus does not spread further, the state government had earlier on put more measures in place to ensure that citizens are protected against it.

In a state broadcast on Thursday, Lalong relaxed the lockdown that was earlier imposed on the state.

Aside that the government also directed the installation of CCTV cameras as well as discreet monitoring to monitor happenings around the official borders and identify the loopholes.

Similarly, Gov. Lalong ordered the evacuation of Almajiris to their respective states.

“Considering the grave danger that Almajiri children are exposed to as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I am directing the immediate profiling and return of all Almajiris from Plateau State to their respective States of origin to join their families and guardians.”

Meanwhile, citizens of the state have been reminded of the resumption of the total lockdown from midnight Sunday 26, April.

In a statement issued on Sunday evening and signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State, Dr. Makut Simon Macham, enjoined citizens of to abide by the provisions of the lockdown.

While appreciating the people for their support and cooperation in the fight against the virus, the Governor however, warned that violators would be arrested and prosecuted.

The statement read in part: “To this effect, all citizens are enjoined to abide by all provisions of the lockdown as violators will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

“Further details of the lockdown will be unveiled in due course.

The Government wishes to appreciate all law abiding citizens for their support and cooperation in the fight against this pandemic, and assures them that it is doing everything possible to contain the situation, particularly now that the State has an index case.”

Deserted Major Streets of Jos Metropolis due to the Lockdown Order

Meanwhile, officials of the Plateau State Government have said they are already probing into how the test result of the index case found its way into the public domain.

The result of the test conducted at the National Veterinary Research Institute’s Testing Centre in Vom, Plateau State leaked and went viral on social media before it was official announced by the authorities on Thursday.

In a statement in Jos, State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Dan Manjang said “The government expresses immense disappointment with this unprofessional act which has not only breached ethical medical standards, but also exposed the suspected cases to negative consequences including stigmatization and discrimination.

“Government totally condemns this act which regrettably has the tendency of jeopardizing its efforts at fighting the Corona virus pandemic that is ravaging the world.

In order not to allow that to happen, the government has since commenced comprehensive investigations into the matter with a view to unraveling those responsible and applying the necessary punishment.”

Meanwhile, the management of the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom has said that it did not release any result to the public.

In a statement titled “NVRI Statement on Leaked COVID-19 Confidential Test Results, said “As a reputable and highly professional institution with almost 100 years of providing quality diagnostic laboratory services, we are shocked to witness this unethical and unprofessional, action.”

The statement read in part: “The attention of the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom was drawn to Laboratory Tests Results of some COVID-19 suspected cases for Plateau State currently circulating on several platforms on the internet.

“As a reputable and highly professional Institution with almost 100 years of providing quality diagnostic laboratory services, we are shocked to witness this highly unethical and unprofessional action.

“Never in our history has our integrity and professionalism been brought to question. It is therefore with shock and grave concern that we witness what has transpired with some of the COVID 19 test results for Plateau State.

While calling on all stakeholders involved in managing COVID-19 case information for Plateau State to quickly take definitive action by investigating what it termed “breach of professional ethics” and deal with it in order to forestall any future occurrence, NVRI restated its  unflinching support to the collective fight against the pandemic and declared its determination in providing technical support in the most professional manner while upholding the most stringent ethical values at all times.

 

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