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No lockdown during yuletide but imbibe safety measures- PLSG






 WITH Yuletide celebrations at the corner, the Plateau State Government has said that it will not impose a lockdown in response to the second wave of Covid-19 as widely speculated.

But the government, through its spokesperson, Secretary of the Government of the State (SGS), Prof. Danladi Atu said, it will ensure strict compliance to all Covid-19 safety protocols, even as it banned all cultural festivals during the Yuletide season.

The Government also disclosed, it has banned operations of motorcycles and tricycles on Friday 25th December 2020 and Saturday 26th December 2020 including New Year day on Friday 1st January 2021.

This was disclosed at a stakeholders meeting convened by Governor Simon Bako Lalong with Local Government Chairmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and health experts to discuss how best to address the  situation in line with the advice of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

While representing the Governor, Atu who is also the Coordinator of the State Taskforce on Covid-19 presided over the meeting held Wednesday at the new Government House, Rayfield, Jos.

“We want to draw the attention of stakeholders to the urgency of the situation occasioned by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic particularly during the yuletide season”, Atu said.

According to him, the Governor has directed that strong measures must be taken to ensure that people are sensitized to observe all Covid-19 protocols in order to curb the spread of the disease and ensure security of the people.

The meeting advised the public to ensure

all public gatherings including places of worship  cut down attendance to 50 percent of their capacity.

“All cultural festivals are banned, while all recreational centres are to be closed until further notice” he said, advising that the use of facemasks should be enforced in all public places while social distancing, hand washing and other protocols are adhered to, while Covid-19 Testing should be enhanced in all Local Government areas”.

”Sample collection Centres should be publicised to encourage voluntary testing but stakeholders should hold similar sensitization engagements with their members at the grassroots while more sensitization should be carried out to avoid stigmatisation of those infected or suspected to have the disease”.

On security, the SGS however warned the public to be cautious because  security reports available to Government indicates that some criminal elements are planning attacks on some communities in the State during the yuletide season.

He explained that the meeting adopted 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.

The SGS said, the State Government is working with the security agencies to be more proactive rather than reactive adding that the State has strengthened Operation Rainbow to ensure that it complements the security efforts.

“The meeting resolved to reinforce surveillance and intelligence gathering in all communities but call on the public to report security threats immediately using the appropriate channels”.

“Public transporters particularly commercial tricycle operators should be registered, Vigilante groups and community watch groups should be motivated, and all suspects arrested for crimes such as kidnapping, murder should be thoroughly investigated.”

“Motorcycles and tricycles are banned from operating on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th December 2020 and Friday1st January 2021 across the 17 local governments,  all boundary routes into the state and within the local government areas should be monitored and check-points mounted to monitor movements while communities are encouraged to work together and compare notes on happenings around them”.


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