Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Following the discovery of index cases of COVID-19 in Taraba, the state governor Darius Ishaku on Monday called on the people to remain calm and avoid unnecessary panic, reassuring the public that the state government was on top of the situation.
The governor, who clarified that the six persons are among the 130 persons intercepted at the interstate borders and are quarantined in Jalingo, assured residents that the state government has already mobilised resources and additional manpower to trace persons who may have made contact with the six.
“We all woke up this morning to the shocking news of six confirmed cases of COVID-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) from samples taken from persons already quarantined by the State Task Force on COVID-19 at the NYSC isolation centre, Sibre. The persons are among 130 interstate travellers from Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Borno, Ogun and Lagos States intercepted at our borders. I, therefore, commend the proactive steps of the committee which led to the isolation and identification of the reported cases,” the governor stated.
“I wish to assure the good people of Taraba State that this is not a time for panic as government is on top of the situation. Additional manpower and resources have been mobilised and deployed to trace contacts of all those that have tested positive to the coronavirus, immediately.
“It is quite unfortunate that the reported outbreak came about despite the robust proactive steps taken by my administration to prevent the virus from entering our state. Let me assure you that we are prepared, having already identified two treatment centres located at the State Specialist Hospital, Jalingo and the Federal Medical Centre also in Jalingo with the combined capacity to handle 22 cases. In the meantime, we are in the process of completing a one hundred bed capacity isolation centre with the assistance of Access Bank. You should, therefore, be rest assured that your protection is paramount and government will do all within its powers to checkmate widespread of the virus.
“The situation we have on our hands now demands strict adherence to preventive measures approved by the World Health Organisation, endorsed by NCDC and adopted by my administration. Our lockdown measure is not negotiable. Security agencies are to ensure that interstate travellers are prevented from coming into the state and that those who are already in the state stay at home.
“I am aware that these measures come with a lot of inconveniences to the people, but we must adopt them in order to save lives. Government will do everything possible to ameliorate the suffering of those that may be adversely affected by these measures,” the governor’s statement read.
Our correspondent reports that there is widespread panic in the state following the announcement of the index cases, leading to further compliance with the total lockdown imposed by the state government a week ago.