A male COVID-19 patient has absconded from a Plateau isolation centre, the Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), Mr Williams Bassi, has said.
Bassi made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to the palace of the Gbong Gwom Jos, Jacob Buba, on Thursday.
The officials of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), WHO and the state Ministry of Information, had paid a courtesy visit to the royal father to begin the campaign on COVID-19 in Jos North.
The WHO coordinator, however, stated that efforts were on to trace the fleeing patient and return him to the centre to complete his treatment.
He said that the challenge being experienced in the state was that people who had tested positive refused to leave their homes to receive treatment at the isolation centres.
“We have one COVID-19 patient that has absconded from the centre, but I assure you we are on his trail and we will trace him and bring him back to continue with treatment.
“The major problem we have is that so many people have tested positive but have refused to go to the isolation centre, an example is the Duala Area in Jos North.
“They keep refusing to go to the isolation centres until some demands are met, and this is not good for us all.
Bassi noted that early identification, isolation and treatment were the best way to stop the spread of the disease.
Earlier, the Director, NOA, Mr Bulus Dabit, said that Jos North was the epicentre of the disease in Plateau state accounting for 76 out of 109 positive cases in the state as of June 3.
Dabit said the high number could be because most people in the community did not believe that COVID-19 was real, hence, the non compliance to social distancing and observance of personal hygiene.
He said the high number of cases in the area was what prompted the motorised campaign to educate the people on the dreaded disease.
The director appealed to the traditional ruler to use his position to impress the message of social/physical distancing, personal hygiene and other safety measures on his subjects as non compliance was higher in rural communities.
The Gbong Gwom Jos stated that he was working with government and relevant agencies to spread awareness of the disease to local communities.
He advised the public to always eat foods that could build immunity as having a strong immune system was one of the ways to beat the disease.
Buba stated that it was a good sign that the virus could be defeated in the state as the number of discharged cases exceeded the number of active cases.