Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, has announced the extension of the lockdown of the state by one week to meet the medically stipulated quarantine period of 14 days, which would begin on Monday, April 20.
Lalong said the precautionary measures were important even though the state has not recorded any positive case of COVID-19. He said: “The total lockdown has been extended to 12 midnight of Thursday, April 23, 2020, to meet the medically stipulated quarantine period of 14 days.
“However, beginning from 11pm tonight, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to 12 midnight of Sunday, April 19, 2020, the total lockdown will be relaxed to enable people go out to restock their homes.”Lalong also announced that the testing laboratory in Jos at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) was ready to attend to cases, adding that it has the capacity to test over 1000 cases per day
He said: “I am happy to announce that 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.
“I was at the NVRI earlier today to inspect the laboratory and I must say that I am impressed with the standard of facilities and staff available. This centre, which has capacity to test over one thousand samples per day, will assist us test more people and serve other neighbouring states.”
He also described the initial lockdown of the state as successful and worthwhile. “Apart from official field reports by members of the task force and the individual reports from members of the public, I personally went round to see things for myself where, I confirmed the high level of obedience and compliance to the government directive.
“On behalf of the government, I register my profound appreciation to all citizens for putting public interest and the well-being of our state above their personal comfort and enjoyment.
“I also want to thank the law enforcement agencies such as the police, Department of State Services, the army, the civil defence, the immigration, the customs, the NDLEA, and the correctional services and their personnel for their commitment towards this emergency.
“We also appreciate members of the media for their continuous support and collaboration in dealing with this pandemic. Without your support, no one will know our efforts and the public will remain in the dark.”
The governor, however, observed few cases of violations across the state. “Over 837 violators were tried and those convicted were made to pay fines while others were subjected to community service. I wish to register my displeasure on the reported cases of assault on some enforcement officials carrying out legitimate duties. Such acts will not be tolerated and those found guilty will be punished,” he said.