The Taraba State government on Thursday confirmed that at least 11 corps members have tested positive for coronavirus at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in the state.
The confirmation was made by the chairman, Task Force Committee on COVID-19 in the state, Innocent Vakkai, while giving an update to newsmen on the state of the pandemic in Taraba.
The corps members who were confirmed asymptomatic are said to be isolated at an undisclosed hotel in Jalingo, the state capital.
“You know the camp opened last month and these are corps members from different parts of the federation,” Vakkai said.
“So as part of the guidelines of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on the control of COVID-19 in Nigeria, they asked every state to carry out mass testing of all corps members present in camps and in Taraba state 11 corps members tested positive, but all of them were asymptomatic, that is to say they are not showing symptoms. Since they are positive, the onus lies on the health authorities to ensure that they were quarantined,” he said.
Vakkai said due to the vandalisation of the isolation centre at the NYSC camp as a result of the ENDSARS protest aftermath, the corp members who tested positive were camped in a hotel so that they can be isolated from the general populace in the state.
“Based on information I have so far received, they are all doing well and will soon reunite with their families as the camp closes,” he said.
Vakkai, who is also the state’s commissioner for health, expressed sadness at the lack of compliance to the safety measures by residents of the state to reduce community transmission.
He insisted that danger lies ahead if the negligence is not curtailed.
Vakkai, who has been in the frontline of the fight against coronavirus in Taraba, called on residents to exercise restraint and caution especially during this Yuletide season.
“Currently consultation is on with stakeholders to help educate the populace on the second wave of the pandemic and in that way we can reduce the mortality rate among our people.
“Let me use this opportunity to call the state residents that as they go into the festive season, they should exercise a lot of restraint and caution by observing the COVID-19 protocols, because the joy of the celebration is to come out alive and not otherwise. Worthy of note also is that the second wave spreads faster than expected,” he said.