COVID-19: Plateau govt begins strict enforcement over rising cases

From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos

As a result of the rising cases of COVID-19 in Plateau State, and the flagrant disregard to safety guidelines, the government is to commence strict enforcement of the preventive guidelines on Monday, June 29, 2020.

It equally said special emphasis will be in Jos North, Jos South, Kanam, Kanke, Barkin Ladi and Mangu LGAs who have the highest number of cases in the state.

It would be recalled that on June 11, 2020, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State had lifted the total lockdown imposed on the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor had equally warned that communities who violate any of the stipulated protocols would be “isolated and locked down”.

Lalong disclosed this while addressing journalists in Jos, the State Capital.

Plateau State had been in and out of lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for three months before it was lifted.

Addressing journalists on Sunday in Jos, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, said: “Government has equally been worried about the increase in the number of cases in the state even as we test more people. This means that the risk of COVID-19 is still very high, and as such, we cannot relax.

“That is why the Chairman of the Plateau State COVID-19 Task Force, Governor Simon Lalong has directed that we redouble our enforcement efforts across the entire state with special emphasis on 6 local government areas with the highest prevalence of corona virus cases.

“Therefore, commencing from tomorrow, Monday, June 29 2020, the enforcement teams will wage a robust action on defaulters whether citizens or organisations, particularly in the 6 Local Governments which include Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Kanam and Kanke.”

According to him: “It should be understood that the next phase will see other local governments also witnessing the type of enforcement and enlightenment that we shall launch tomorrow.”

Atu who is also the State Coordinator of the State COVID-19 Taskforce, further explained that: “This enforcement will go simultaneously with public education campaign by Health Educators to further enlighten the citizens on the dangers of the disease and what to do to be protected.

“It is important to make it abundantly clear that this action is not in any way aimed at stigmatizing people living in these local government areas or affected communities, but an exercise targeted at ensuring their safety and containment of the pandemic.

“I am stating this upfront because we are aware of the mischief by some individuals and groups who specialize in spreading falsehood and trying to discourage people from abiding to government directives.

“We shall remain focused on ensuring that we protect our citizens from the Corona Virus pandemic. All we continue to ask for, is the cooperation and support of all citizens towards defeating the disease”, he stressed.

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