By: Valentine Adese (JP),
Plateau State Covid-19 Committee has disclosed that the number of rising suspected Covid- 19 cases in Rikkos, Duala and other communities in Jos North Local Government Area of the state is becoming worrisome.
The Committee, which disclosed this worrisome development in a briefing yesterday, at the Plateau State Government House, further said that, the suspected cases in Jos North has risen to 42, while Mangu, Jos South, Jos East and Shendam Local Government Areas of the State have one case each.
The committee also expressed fears that, there could be more community spread in Jos North, owing to the high level of congestion in the communities in the LGA and the poor hygiene observed.
In another development, the Committee disclosed that two of its health workers have tested positive for the novel Coronavirus (COVID- 19).
Dr Nimkong Lar, the State’s Commissioner of Health, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Martin Azzuwut, said the health workers were among the 15 new cases confirmed on Tuesday by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He explained that, the new cases had increased the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state to 50.
The commissioner said that, four patients were discharged on Tuesday, bringing the total number of patients discharged so far in the state to 15, while 35 were still receiving treatment in isolation centers.
“Of the 15 confirmed cases, 11 are linked to the case of the first COVID-19 dead patient in the state, and two are health workers.
“We currently have 11 patients in Plateau Specialist Hospital, Nine in Jos University Teaching Hospital, Four were discharged yesterday and the 15 confirmed cases of yesterday are being moved to isolation centers for treatment,” he said.
Lar said that, Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, had declared their capacity to conduct COVID-19 tests, but were waiting to be assessed by NCDC before they start.
He explained that, the approval would reduce the turnaround time for results from the National Veterinary Research Institute owing to the volume of samples they receive daily for testing.
The Commissioner said that the state was currently training two health workers from each from the over 1,000 primary health centers across the state.
He added that, volunteers would also be trained to assist in community engagement in order to curtail the spread of the disease in communities.
Also, the Commissioner of Information, Mr. Dan Manjang, said that the state Executive Council gave approval to engage a consultant to boost the Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) in the state from its current N600 million to N3 billion monthly.
He said Council also approved the payment of N127 million to a company, for bulk purchase of water purification chemicals contracted since 2016 in the state.
Manja said the state government had constituted a Post COVID-19 economic committee to proffer strategies on economic recovery after the pandemic.
He said that, a Committee had also been established for the implementation of mobile laboratory to test for COVID -19 in rural areas.
Also, in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in state and in furtherance of the Resolutions reached at the Plateau State Security Council Meeting presided over by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, the State Government has directed that all Eid praying grounds across the state should be closed to all worshipers.
According to the press release signed by Prof. Danladi Abok Atu, the Secretary to the State Government, the decision to close these prayer grounds was reached after consultation with the security agencies and religious leaders in the state.
From the press statement the following decisions particularly, as it relates to the forth coming Eid-el-Ftr Sallah celebrations are reproduced below:
- That all Eid praying grounds across the State shall be closed to all worshippers. This is line with existing ban on all large public gatherings in tandem with the directive of the President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs His Eminence, Sultan Mohammed Abubakar that all muslims should suspend congregational Eid Prayers and pray at home.
- Where prayers are observed in mosques, they should abide by the regulations for not more than 50 persons, hand washing, use of sanitizers and social distancing.
- That operation of Tricycle ( Keke Napep) have been banned for Saturday 21 and Sunday 22, May 2020.
- In line with existing Government Orders, all recreational centers across the State shall remain closed. 4. Security agencies have been directed to enforce the above restrictions.
Speaking on behalf of Governor Simon Lalong and the state Government, Prof. Atu, appealed to all citizens to adhere to these regulations and continue to take every personal precaution towards preventing the spread of COVID-19.
He urged citizens to note that, at the moment, the State is witnessing more infections as a result of community spread which can be worsened by large congregation of people.
Prof. Atu said, “The Governor wishes all Muslim faithfuls in the State a happy Eid-el-Ftr, and calls on them to use the period to pray for God to intervene and stop the pandemic.”