Plateau extends lockdown to 1 week …Rural farmers excluded
From Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau State Government has extended the total lockdown to next week in order to meet the medically stipulated quarantine period of 14 days.
Governor Simon Lalong disclosed this on Wednesday in his broadcast to the citizens of the state, adding that the total lockdown begins on Sunday.
According to him, by implication, the earlier restriction prior to the total lockdown remain, for the avoidance of doubt, all other markets remain closed except those selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas.
He said all illegal street trading, street hawking and begging are prohibited, stating that the illegal Sunday markets on Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru and environs remain banned.
He added that all social joints are to remain closed, advising restaurants to prepare take away for their customers to avoid crowding.
The governor said all motor parks are to capture and keep data, including contacts of all inbound and outbound passengers.
He urged them to adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering prohibition order as well as hygiene regulations.
Vehicles such as Keke NAPEP, cars and buses were asked to abide by the restriction on the number of passengers to carry, which have been spelled out as one, four and six respectively.
Also, places of worship were asked to strictly adhere to the 50 persons’ provision, while maintaining social distancing and hygiene regulations.
Again, the ban on all anniversaries and cultural festivals remains in force in the state.
Lalong said: “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.”
He said farmers, particularly in the rural areas were exempted from the restrictions, as they were required to go to their farms now that the rains have started.
“However, they are to observe all guidelines for social distancing and hygiene,” the governor added.
“In addition to the exemption of essential workers earlier announced, producers of food such as bread, water and beverages are also exempted, while the mobile courts are to remain in place to try violators of government directives,” he stressed.
The governor also noted that, to address cases of sharp practices, human rights violations and compromise by some security personnel, the government has set up a high-powered Independent Intelligence Monitoring Team, which would report directly to the governor.
He said the Testing Centre for Plateau State earlier envisaged has finally come to fruition, as the Bio-Safety Level 3 Grade 1 Laboratory at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom, has been equipped and certified by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to begin outright test for COVID-19.
The governor was at the NVRI earlier to inspect the laboratory and was impressed with the standard of facilities and staff available, adding that the centre has the capacity to test over one thousand samples per day.