In continuation of efforts to contain the COVID-19 disease and ensure it does not spread in Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong has disclosed plans are almost concluded to get a centre for the test of disease in the State rather than travel elsewhere for the test.
The Governor who met in Jos with critical stakeholders to fashion ways of mitigate the impacts of the pandemic noted that drastic measures are needed to contain the disease.
It would be recalled that last week Thursday, residents of Gangare community of Jos North local government area drew the attention of the Management Committee Chairman of the Area, Shehu Usman to a suspected case involving one Hassan Saleh, an ally of the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed but the test result returned negative.
Both the State Government and the Council Chairman are appealing to citizens not to panic but continue to adhere to the directives on safety measures as so far, there is no confirmed case in the State.
Governor Lalong who chairs the State COVID-19 Emergency Response Task Force, explained that the meeting became necessary so as to carry everyone along in the fight against the disease stressing, “We are dealing with an abnormal situation and so we need to take drastic measures in order to protect the lives of the citizens. We have already put in place various measures to ensure that the disease does not come into Plateau.
Thankfully, there is no recorded case yet and we pray that it remains so. However, we must work hard to keep things this way.”
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar briefed the stakeholders on the effectiveness of the preventive measures already taken such as contact tracing, closure of markets, monitoring and checks at entry points to the State, as well as public enlightenment, adding the people of the State are being sensitized and are cooperating with measures put in place.
He explained that the old site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH has been earmarked as an isolation centre while the State is purchasing more ventilators, drugs and other essentials that are needed.
Chairman of the Plateau State Economic Team Mr. Ezekiel Gomos also briefed the stakeholders where he said the revenue of the State has been hugely impacted and will make execution of programmes and projects very difficult.
This he said necessitated the recommendation of the Economic Team that the 2020 budget be cut by 40 percent while all non essential expenditure be equally reduced drastically. Some of the measures already announced by the Governor in his statewide broadcast according to him are in line with the recommendations of the Committee.
However, Jos North Chair, Shehu Usman has engaged religious leaders in the Area to enable them sensitized the citizens on the need to give absolute cooperation in the fight against the disease.
He told Vanguard that, “Religious leaders are involved in this fight to ensure their followers adhere strictly to the directives of government because they are advice from professionals to see how we can contain the disease.”
He frowned at religious leaders who are misleading the people saying, “There is this issue about belief in religion but we want people to know that coronavirus is not an issue of religion, it is something that is all over the world. We should all pray, commit this thing to God and obey the directives given. Religious leaders should collaborate with government so that we can all come out of this collectively.”