COVID-19 Lockdown: 1, 242 defaulters arrested, prosecuted in Plateau- Gov. Lalong

By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, said despite the impressive compliance of the citizenry during the lockdown order in the state, as measure in preventing the entry of COVID-19 into the state, 1, 242 persons violated the order.

The Governor also said 99 cases have been investigated and 23 persons are currently isolated who are being observed because they came in from other States with confirmed cases of COVID-19, adding that, “Of the 23 persons isolated, none has so far shown any symptoms”.

It will be recalled that during the one week lockdown, the state government had set up ten mobile courts across the three senatorial zones to try defaulters.

Lalong disclosed this during a statewide broadcast in Jos, the state capital.

He said, “As impressive as the compliance is, there were few cases of violations across the State, which were promptly arrested and prosecuted by the mobile courts established across the three Senatorial districts.

“1, 242 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 warned.

“My dear citizens, during this one-week of total lockdown, we were able to successfully decontaminate the entire State beginning with the flag off in Jos-Bukuru Metropolis on the 10th of April”, he explained.

According to him, “The period also enabled us to quarantine the entire State and effectively monitor suspected cases, as well as curtail movement within and into our State thereby reducing high possibility of importing the disease from outside the State.

“Despite all the challenges, I can confidently say that we largely succeeded.

“As at today, we have investigated 99 cases and currently isolated 23 persons who are being observed because they came in from other States with confirmed cases of the disease. Of the 23 persons isolated, none has so far shown any symptoms”, he maintained.

“We are grateful to God that as at this moment, there is no confirmed case in the State.
This is the more reason why we must not rest on our oars nor take anything for granted in blocking any loophole that can make us vulnerable.

The Governor also informed the citizenry that the Testing Centre for 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”.

According to him, “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 neigbouring States.

“In addition to the purchase of ventilators, our homegrown innovator Engr. Jerry Mallo, who was earlier mandated to fabricate ventilators, has come up with a product, which is being tested by health experts for possible deployment as the need arises”, he further explained.

Lalong appreciated the citizens of the state, for their sacrifices since the outbreak of the pandemic and the measures taken to address it.

“We are not blind to the hardship and inconveniences this emergency has caused”, he said.

“Accordingly, Government having constituted a committee headed by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, has directed the immediate commencement of the distribution of palliatives to the most vulnerable and weak amongst us.

“Let me clarify that these palliatives, which will in due course also be complemented by the Federal Government, are strictly for the needy.

“Already, about sixty one thousand, six hundred and sixteen (61,616) beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme under the N-Power, Poorest of the Poor and School Feeding Programme have been receiving their stipends based on President Buhari’s directive.

The Governor however said, “These are not people that should be looking forward to any other palliatives because they are already being taken care of.

“Similarly, workers who are receiving salaries as and when due should not expect to partake from the palliatives. Let us consider the truly vulnerable ones at this period”, he stressed.

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