Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, has declared that a centre for the test of COVID-19 infection would be launched soon in the state as part of the efforts to contain the CORANA-19 and ensure it does not spread to the state.
Lalong made the disclosure when he met with critical stakeholders in the state, including the State House of Assembly and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure that the state mitigates the impact of the pandemic.
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. However, we must work hard to keep things this way.”
Lalong also disclosed need to work with the legislature and the ruling party leadership in the state in coping with the socio-political impact of the disease in the state. He said the stakeholders would need to work together and make hard choices to keep the state afloat.
The State’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar, also 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 are being sensitised and are cooperating with measures put in place.
Lar 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 to manage the disease.
The Chairman of Plateau State Economic Team, Mr. Ezekiel Gomos, also told the stakeholders that the revenue of the state has been hugely impacted, which would make the execution of programmes and projects very difficult.
He added that this has necessitated the recommendation of the economic team that the 2020 budget be cut by 40 percent while all non-essential expenditure would be equally reduced drastically.
Some of the measures already announced by the Governor in his statewide broadcast, according to him, were in line with the recommendations of the committee.
The Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Ayuba Nuhu Abok, expressed the support of the legislature and commended the governor for the proactive measures taken so far.
Secretary to the Government of the State, Prof. Danladi Abok Atu also said the state has opened a COVID-19 Trust Fund account for corporate organisations and individuals to contribute to the fight against the pandemic.