Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has relaxed the total lockdown of the state for four days to enable residents to stock their houses with foodstuff.
He also directed the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable persons in the state with the exception of civil servants, beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme under the N-Power, Poorest-of-the-Poor and School Feeding Programme who have been receiving their stipends based on President Buhari’s directive.
Lalong disclosed this on Wednesday in a broadcast at the end of the one-week total lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“From the one-week total, lockdown, we have learnt many lessons that will guide our next steps. One of the biggest lessons is the fact that we cannot quarantine hunger. Therefore, government has taken the following decisions going forward.
“However, beginning from 11 pm tonight, Wednesday 15th April 2020, to 12 midnight of Sunday 19th April 2020, the total lockdown will be relaxed to enable people go out to restock their homes.
“The total lockdown has been extended to 12 midnight of Thursday 23rd April 2020 to meet the medically stipulated quarantine period of 14 days.”
He noted that bans on markets, festivals, night clubs and street begging remained in force.
“Farmers, particularly in the rural areas are exempted from the restrictions, as they are required to go to their farms now that the rains have started. However, they are to observe all guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.
“Places of worship are to strictly adhere to the 50-persons provision while maintaining social distancing and hygiene regulations. The ban on all anniversaries and cultural festivals remains in force.
“All entry and exit borders into the state will remain closed with greater reinforcement and CCTV surveillance to ensure total compliance. Anybody who violates this border closure and comes into Plateau will be arrested, prosecuted and quarantined for 14 days until it is confirmed that he/she is free of the disease.
“In addition to the exemption of essential workers earlier announced, producers of food such as bread, water and beverages are also exempted. The mobile courts are to remain in place to try violators of government directives.
“The period also enabled us to quarantine the entire state and effectively monitor suspected cases, as well as curtail movement within and into our state thereby reducing the high possibility of importing the disease from outside the state. Despite all the challenges, I can confidently say that we largely succeeded.
“As at today, we have investigated 99 cases and currently isolated 23 persons who are being observed because they came in from other states with confirmed cases of the disease. Of the 23 persons isolated, none has so far shown any symptoms.”