Plateau State Government is planning to establish a test centre for COVID-19 soon in the state
Plateau gets COVID-19 test centre soon -Lalong
From Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Governor Simon Bako Lalong of the state revealed this recently, saying that the effort was part of measures to contain the virus and ensure that it does not spread.
Mr. Lalong, who met with APC leaders of the State House of Assembly on the disease at Government House, Jos, said meeting with more critical stakeholders was to ensure that the state mitigates the impact of the pandemic.
The governor met with the leadership of the House as well as the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said the meeting of state COVID-19 Emergency Response Task Force became necessary so as to carry everyone along in the fight against the disease.
He said: “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 and however, we must work hard to keep things this way.”
He noted that there was the need to also work with the legislature and the ruling party leadership in the state to look at the socio-political impact of the disease there.
Lalong said the stakeholders would need to work together and make hard choices that would keep the state afloat.
During the meeting, the state Commissioner of 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.
He said the people of the state were being sensitized and were cooperating with measures put in place.
He explained that the old Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) has been earmarked as an isolation centre, while the state was purchasing more ventilators, drugs and other essentials that are needed for the disease.
On his part, chairman of the state Economic Team, Mr. Ezekiel Gomos had stressed that the revenue of the state has been hugely impacted and would make execution of programmes and projects very difficult.
This, he said, necessitated the recommendation of the team that the 2020 budget be cut by 40 per cent, while all non essential expenditure be equally reduced drastically.
Also, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Ayuba Nuhu Abok commended the governor for all proactive measures taken so far.
However, the state chairman of the APC, Chief Letep Dabang also supported the measures put in place, asking for more sensitization of more stakeholders especially in the rural areas.
In a related development, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Abok Atu said the state has opened a COVID-19 Trust Fund account for corporate organisations and individuals to contribute to the fight against the disease.