By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lar Ndam Nimkong said 43 persons including Chinese nationals have been isolated in mining sites in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.
He said among those isolated, four are Chinese National and 39 are Nigerians who are working with the Chinese in the two mining sites.
Dr. Nimkong disclosed this on Sunday during a press briefing with Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang in Jos, adding that the Chinese who came from China through Adis-Ababa to Abuja were examined and have no symptoms of Coronavirus.
He said: “The Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong received a communication on Friday 28 February, 2020 from Nigeria Immigration Service that three Chinese National are in Plateau. We set up a committee urgently made up of our staff, WHO, Nigeria Immigration Service, the Police and DSS and went to Wase LGA immediately.
“On Saturday 29 February, the team discovered that there were four Chinese and not three. They interviewed the leader who came on 25 February and three others came on the 26 February, 2020.
“The admitted that they came from China and flew to Adis-Ababa through Abuja to Wase Local Government Area in Plateau State. They show their screening forms in Adis-Ababa and in Abuja and we told them that anybody who is coming from a country that has Coronavirus problem is a suspect until he proves otherwise.
“In Wase, the Leader was leaving in a compound with 24 other Nigerians who were working with him. They have a water source that the villagers come to fetch for drinking, both of them were isolated in the compound for 14 day, nobody is expected go out and nobody goes in.
“The same thing in Baki-Kaya wherr there are three Chinese National and 15 Nigerians who are working with them, both of them show their screening forms before coming into Nigeria and we have asked that they should be isolated for 14 days also; with this, we have no case of Coronavirus in Plateau for now.”
He said the Military and other security personnel in the area have been directed to ensure that the people comply with the directive.
Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Dan Manjang, who was with Ndam during the briefing, said that there is no known case of Corona virus in the State.
According to him, “There is no known case of Corona virus in Plateau State. You know, we have a mining site in Wase. There are Chinese nationals that are mining that site. Three of them came in from China via Ethiopia Airways via Abuja.
“Commissioner for Health in a swift reaction sent a health team to go and isolate and investigate them. The investigation is supposed to take 14 days. We will now know after 14 days whether they did contact the virus or not.”
Manjang explained that being quarantined or isolated does not automatically mean that one has contacted the virus. “We are being pro-active as a government to make sure the situation is put under control.
“And as I talk to you, the Jos University Teaching Hospital and Plateau Specialist Hospital have isolated wards, rooms that are going to be kept for the purpose and these are what we used in those days during the Ebola outbreak. This is so should the issue of that nature arises which we don’t pray for, we will be on top of the situation. ”
He advised Plateau citizens to observe basic hygiene standards to avoid the virus and other diseases.” Hand washing, avoidance of crowded places. Those are the basic things. Make sure you clean your vegetables before you eat them. It is a contagious disease. It is something that is viral. It is something that is carried by the air. If you maintain minimum hygiene, it will minimize or prevent it completely”.