At a meeting a broad spectrum of stakeholders, Plateau State Government has said that it does not intend to impose a lockdown in response to the second wave of COVID-19, but will ensure strict compliance to all protocols.
The meeting presided over by Secretary to the Government of Plateau State Prof. Danladi Abok Atu, the Coordinator of the State Taskforce on COVID-19, on behalf of Lalong and attended by Local Government Chairmen, traditonal rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and health experts was called to discuss how best to address the situation in line with the advisory of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Prof. Atu said the event was organised to draw the attention of the stakeholders to the urgency of the situation occasioned by the second wave of the pandemic particularly during the yuletide season.
He said the Governor directed that strong measures must be taken to ensure that people are sensitised to observe all the COVID-19 protocols in order to curb the spread of the disease.
After deliberations, the meeting adopted the following measures on COVID-19.
1. All public gatherings including places of worship should cut down attendance to 50 percent of their capacity.
2. All cultural festivals are banned
3. The use of facemasks should be enforced in all public places while social distancing, hand washing and other protocols are adhered to.
4. Covid-19 Testing should be enhanced in all Local Government areas while all sample collection Centres be publicised to encourage voluntary testing.
5. The stakeholders should hold similar sensitization engagements with their members at the grassroots
6. More sensitization should be carried out to avoid stigmatisation of those infected or suspected to have the disease.
7. All recreational centres are to be closed until further notice
On security, the Secretary to the Government Prof. Atu said security reports available to the Government indicate that some criminal elements are planning attacks on some communities in the State during the yuletide season.
He said the Governor mandated the meeting to foster a more community-driven response to intelligence and surveillance so as to assist security agencies with useful information to enable them respond to any threat of attack by criminals.
Atu said the State Government is working with the security agencies to be more proactive rather than reactive. He also said the State has strengthened Operation Rainbow to ensure that it compliments the security effort.
After the discussion, the meeting resolved the following on security:
1. Reinforce surveillance and intelligence gathering in all communities
2. All security threats should be reported immediately using the appropriate channels
3. Public transporters particularly commercial tricycle operators should be registered
4. Vigilante groups and community watch groups should be motivated
5. All suspects arrested for crimes such as kidnapping, murder should be thoroughly investigated
6. Motorcycles and tricycles are banned from operating on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th December 2020 and Friday1st January 2021 across the 17 Local Governments.
7. All boundary routes into the State and within the Local Government areas should be monitored and check-points mounted to monitor movements.
8. Communities are encouraged to work together and compare notes on happenings around them.
Recall that the Federal Government on Tuesday clarified that it has not declared a fresh lockdown of the country following confirmation of a second wave of COVID-19.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave this clarification when he featured on a Radio Nigeria programme, “Politics Nationwide’’,.
The minister said the directives and position of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 at its briefing on Monday, did not translate to partial or total lockdown as reported in some sections of the media.
He allayed the fears of Nigerians and some listeners that called-in during the programme that a lockdown might have negative effects on the already stressed economy.
Mohammed explained that what the Federal Government had done was to reduce the chances of mass gathering by directing its workers from Level 12 below to work from home.
He said the government also reiterated already existing ban on night clubs and other COVID-19 protocols.
“The Federal Government has not declared a fresh lockdown.
“What we have done is that we have simply reiterated the old protocols and asked federal workers on Level 12 and below to stay at home and they will still receive their salaries.
“Lagos state has equally asked their level 14 workers and below to work from home and Kaduna state has done the same.
“Therefore, there is no fresh lockdown and the issue of hardship and economy meltdown does not arise,’’ he said.
The minister said that the government also reminded Nigerians that the ban on social gathering is still on and Churches and Mosques should obey the social gathering rules.
He said the directive is to curtail people from gathering because they found out that COVID had reached level of community transmission.
Mohammed said the protocols on foreign travels subsist to the effect that those travelling to Nigeria would not be able to come on board unless they have the certificate that they tested negative for the virus.
He said when they arrive into the country, they must self-isolate for seven days after which they would go back for confirmation test.
NAN reports that during the briefing on Monday, the Chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha advised states to immediately close all bars, nightclubs, and restaurants across the country.
He said the number of guests at weddings, conferences, among others had also been limited to 50 persons.
Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the new guidelines are part of measures to limit the spread of the virus.