Lalong Directs Cabinet Members to Test for COVID-19 as Commissioner Tests Positive

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, has directed members of the State Executive Council to undergo tests for COVID-19 pandemic disease and isolate them beginning from yesterday, July 1, 2020.

The directive came after a member of the State Executive Council (SEC) and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Abe Aku, tested positive for the virus.

A statement by the Commissioner of Information, Mr. Dan Manjang, added that “based on the governor’s directive, specimens of the commissioners are to be taken and forwarded to the COVID-19 laboratory at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, for testing.

“During the period and pending the outcome of the results members of the public are advised to avoid unnecessary visits to members of the SEC while they isolate. This action is not only to prevent possible spread of the disease, but also show leadership by example.”

He, however, admonished against stigmatisation, saying that COVID-19 is not a death sentence and only continuous testing would reveal the rate of infection and facilitate treatment to save lives.

Manjang added that Lalong hoped that by directing his EXCO to all go for the test, members of the public would be encouraged to make themselves available for testing, while at the same time obeying the COVID-19 protocols of wearing face masks, social distancing, hand washing and the use of alcohol based sanitisers.

“Government also uses this opportunity to remind the public that the enforcement of orders issued by the governor will continue and those found violating will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.