The Plateau State Government has announced a relaxation of its total lockdown directive between April 30 to May 3 to enable residents restock.
Gov Simon Lalong made the announcement on Thursday during a broadcast from Government House, Jos.
Lalong had announced an initial relaxation of total lockdown from midnight April 23 to midnight April 26.
“The total lockdown which resumed midnight Sunday, April 26, shall be relaxed from midnight of April 30 to midnight of Sunday 3rd May, to enable people again re-stock their homes.
“Thereafter, the total lock down will resume on Monday 4th May 2020.
“This will henceforth be the pattern until further review. In order words, the period of restocking will last from midnight of every Thursday to midnight of every Sunday,” he said.
He said the state government had banned intra-state movements as part of efforts to curb community spread of COVID-19, with effect from May 4, adding that movement from one local government to another during the relaxation period remained prohibited, except for those on essential services.
“Farmers are strongly advised to farm within their localities and local government areas to avoid breaking this order. These measures are necessary in order to curb community transmission of the disease and make contact tracing easier,” he said.
He said his directives was in line with President Buhari’s pronouncement that there shall be overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am effective May 4 and only people on essential duties were exempted from the directive.
The governor also announced the compulsory used of face masks by residents in public places with effect from May 4, in addition to observing all hygiene and social distancing regulations.
Lalong said 19 contacts of the index case of COVID-19 in the state have been traced and quarantined while the index case remained in isolation with technical support from officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), sent to manage the patient.
He said the results of all the 19 contacts were negative, adding that 12 contacts of a suspected case in Enugu who travelled to Plateau, have been traced and quarantined while their results were being awaited.
” In addition to this, the results of other suspected cases are being awaited, while the results of 65 other suspected cases earlier sent for investigation were received today, with all returned negative,” he said.
He said Government was also concerned about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector and has directed the State Universal Basic Education Board to commence the implementation of the UNICEF’s “Education Cannot Wait” (ECW) initiative to enable children learn at home.
NAN reports that the initiative is a new global fund to transform the delivery of education in emergencies requiring governments, humanitarian actors and development efforts, to deliver more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youths affected by crisis.
He said learning have begun through Television and Radio lessons for children in Mathematics and English, transmitted on the Plateau Radio Television Corporation from 9-11am weekdays.
“In addition, we have produced simplified study materials that are being distributed to children, especially in rural areas that may not have access to Radio and Television services.
“Government is partnering with U-LESSON Education, one of the new Education Technology Company in Nigeria, founded by one of the illustrious sons of Plateau State, Mr Sim Shagaya that will offer online science education to secondary school students,” he said.
He said the state on April 25, began distribution of palliatives to orphanages, people living with disabilities and the elderly who were the most vulnerable groups in the state.
He implored other members of the state to assist the indigents in their communities with palliative items to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
He also said the profiling and return of Quranic pupils (Almajiri) have commenced with the first batch of 279 evacuated to their states, while those from Plateau, returned to their local government areas.
The governor expressed concern over breaches at the inter-state borders, stressing that it was re-strategising to checkmate the act, especially those using illegal routes, saying stiffer penalties await violators irrespective of their status.
He thanked the people of the State for their understanding and support for his administration in combating COVID-19 pandemic while urging them to remain hopeful of return.to normalcy.