By Therese Nanlong, Jos
Plateau State government has suspended the total lockdown earlier imposed on the State from Sundays to Wednesdays each week till further notice, this is even as the government insists all schools are to remain closed.
The State Governor, Simon Lalong who is the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19 while speaking with journalists in Jos said the decision came after a two-day community and stakeholders engagement to evaluate the COVID-19 protocols for the State.
The Governor noted that so far, the State has tested over 2,000 persons for the disease out of which, 130 were confirmed positive while three deaths were recorded before the test results of the patients were confirmed.
According to him, “So far, we have tested 2,032 persons for COVID-19 in the State. Out of this number, 130 were confirmed positive, we recorded three deaths which unfortunately occurred before their test results were confirmed.
At the moment, we have 26 persons still on admission and have discharged 99. There are 35 persons of interest at our quarantine centres in Pankshin, Qua’an Pan, Heipang, and Mangu.
“Following the recent release of guidelines by the Presidential task force on COVID-19 on the gradual easing up of the lockdown measures and subsequent call for States to take ownership of the processes, the Plateau State Government organized a two-day community and stakeholders engagement with the view to evaluating the COVID-19 protocols for the State.
“Based on the outcome of the engagements, the lockdown earlier imposed in the State from Sundays to Wednesdays is hereby lifted until further notice. The curfew imposed by the federal government from 10 pm to 6 am will continue to be observed until further directives are issued. Cultural festivals, anniversaries, and large scale gatherings remain banned.
“Churches and mosques with large spaces shall be allowed to accommodate more than 50 worshippers under strict observance of the use of facemasks, social distancing, hand washing, use of infrared thermometers and use of sanitizers.
All public places like markets, shops, hotels, and restaurants that fail to comply with the hygiene or sanitation regulations, social distancing as well as the use of facemasks shall be shut down and the owners prosecuted.”
He added that the Head of Civil Service “has been directed to work out modalities for the resumption of other categories of civil servants who have been working from home.”
While the lockdown has been relaxed within the State, “inter-states borders shall remain closed with greater enforcement. All schools are to remain closed, as we ease the lockdown, citizens are strongly advised to participate in mass community testing which will be carried out in the State to avoid further spread of the virus.”