Coronavirus Updates

April 17, 2020

Plateau extends lockdown, exempts essential workers, farmers

Shun hate, division — Lalong to religious leaders

Gov Lalong

By Therese Nanlong, Jos

The Plateau State Government has on Wednesday relaxed the six days total lockdown earlier imposed on the State but however added that the exercise would continue next week Monday except for people on essential services.

The State Governor, Simon Lalong in a State-wide broadcast say the few days of reprieve is for people to restock their homes even as palliatives would be given to the vulnerable in the State.

The Governor while commending the citizens for their cooperation during the period of the first lockdown period, also exempted farmers from the fresh total lockdown saying as the rains are here, there is need for them to go to the farms.

According to him, “My dear Compatriots, it is with gratitude to God that I address you once again over the Corona Virus Pandemic, which remains a global emergency to date. We are a few hours from the dateline of the total lockdown and it is necessary that I again address you for the next steps in continuation of Government efforts in curbing the pandemic. Let me first commend the entire citizens of Plateau State for their patriotism and loyalty in adhering to the total restriction of movement order.

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“On behalf of the Government, I register my profound appreciation to all citizens for putting public interest and the well-being of our State above their personal comfort and enjoyment. I also want to thank the law enforcement agencies such as the Police, Department of State Services, the Army, Civil Defence, Immigration, Customs, NDLEA, and the Correctional Services and their personnel for their commitment towards this emergency. We also appreciate members of the media for their continuous support and collaboration in dealing with this pandemic. Without your support, no one will know our efforts and the public will remain in the dark.

“Over 837 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. 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.

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“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. My dear citizens, Government appreciates the sacrifices you have continued to make since the outbreak of this pandemic and the measures taken to address it. We are not blind to the hardship and inconveniences this emergency has caused.”

He added that, “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 total lockdown has been extended to 12 midnight of Thursday 23rd April 2020 to meet the medically stipulated quarantine period of 14 days. However, beginning from 11pm tonight, Wednesday 15th April 2020, to 12 midnight of Sunday 19th April 2020, the total lockdown will be relaxed to enable people go out to restock their homes. By implication, the earlier restriction prior to the total lockdown remain.

For the avoidance of doubt, all other markets remain closed except those selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas. In addition, all illegal street trading, street hawking, and begging are prohibited.

“The illegal Sunday markets on Ahmadu Bello Way, Bukuru and environs remain banned. Social joints, Nightclubs, drinking parlours are to remain closed, 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. Vehicles (Keke Napep, Cars and Buses) are to abide by restriction on the number of passenger to carry, which have been spelled out as 1, 4 and 6 respectively.

“Places of worship are to strictly adhere to the 50 persons provision, while maintaining social distancing and hygiene regulations. The ban on all anniversaries and cultural festivals remains in force. All entry and exit borders into the State will remain closed with greater reinforcement and CCTV surveillance to ensure total compliance.

Anybody who violates this border closure and comes into Plateau will be arrested, prosecuted and quarantined for 14 days until it is confirmed that he/she is free of the disease.

“Farmers, particularly in the rural areas are exempted from the restrictions, as they are required to go to their farms now that the rains have started. However, they are to observe all guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. In addition to the exemption of essential workers earlier announced, producers of food such as bread, water and beverages are also exempted. The mobile courts are to remain in place to try violators of Government directives.”