The Plateau Government said it had so far tested more than 9000 persons for COVID-19 and recorded 571 cases of the disease in the state.
The state Commissioner of Health, Mr Ndam Lar, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos.
Lar also said the state had recorded 16 deaths from the disease, while 260 had been discharged from March to date.
“We have embarked on massive testing of residents especially in communities, which brought the number of people tested so far to be more than 9000.
“There are three reasons why we are recording more confirmed cases in the state, which include more testing and breach of the laid down safety protocols by citizens.
“The more disturbing reason is the negative attitude some people exhibit toward the virus as they don’t believe it exists,” he said.
He said that the State Government was so worried by the situation that it was thinking of introducing new measures to curtail the spread of the virus in the state.
“We are thinking of commencing arrest and prosecution of offenders to see how we could curtail the spread of the disease.
“This is because people hardly wear the face masks and observe the social distancing, which is so detrimental and unfortunate, ” the commissioner said.
He appealed to the residents to submit themselves to test so as to know their status as regards the virus.
According to him, all members of the State Executive Council had quarantined themselves and underwent the test for the virus, and that only the Governor’s Chief of Staff and the state Commissioner of Commerce and Industry tested positive to it.
Lar said that more intensive enlightenment campaign had been embarked upon in all communities to sensitise the people to the existence and dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.