By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
Following the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged many countries of the world and with about fifty confirmed cases in Nigeria, the Plateau State Government in its efforts to stem the tide against the scourge, has shut down markets, social joints among others.
The State Government has also ask civil servants from Grades level 1 to 12 to stay at home, unless those offering essential services.
The directive was given by Governor Simon Lalong during a state broadcast on Tuesday in Jos.
It would be recalled that few weeks ago some Chinese nationals who arrived Wase Local Government Area of the state after the outbreak of the disease in their country, investigated.
However, the results were negative after their period of quarantine and observation, leaving the State with no case of Corona Virus disease to this day.
Lalong said, “We have continued our surveillance to ensure that any suspected case is identified and addressed appropriately.
“Arising from an Emergency Meeting of the State Executive Council, further measures have been taken. With effect from Wednesday 25th March 2020, all public servants in Plateau State from Grade levels 12 and below are to work from home for the next 30 days.
The Governor maintained, “Only workers offering essential services such as security, health, media, street cleaners and water supply and energy are exempted from this directive.
“In view of the crowds associated with markets, government is directing all markets to close effective 25th March 2020. Only traders selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas are to remain open. In addition, all street trading, street hawking, and begging are prohibited.
“The weekly Sunday markets at Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru and environs are hereby banned.
He also added that, “Social joints, Nightclubs, drinking parlours are to also close effective Wednesday 25th March 2020, while restaurants are advised to prepare take away for their customers to avoid crowding.
“Motor parks are to capture and keep data including contacts of all inbound and outbound passengers as well as adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering prohibition order as well as hygiene regulations.
“Henceforth, all entry points into Plateau State by land and air will be subjected to preliminary tests”, he assured.
Lalong however said, the weekly State Executive Council meetings have also been suspended indefinitely.
According to him, “However, Council will continue to consult and meet through digital means.
“I have directed security agencies to begin enforcement and anyone found violating these orders should be arrested. Should the situation continue this way, we shall not hesitate to impose a complete lockdown in order to save the lives of our people”, he stressed.
“To ensure total compliance, Government has set up a Task Force on Enforcement and Monitoring, which will be personally chaired by me to coordinate, evaluate and review developments on the disease in the State. The Task Force will also give updates to citizens from time to time”.
The Governor urged the citizenry to be optimistic and prayerful, and above all be cautious.
“Therefore, I strongly advise all our citizens and visitors coming into Plateau State who recently returned from overseas or know that they have had contact with any of the confirmed cases in the country to self-isolate for 14 days”.