Taraba and effort to rid state of Covid-19

Taraba state government, like other states in the country, has been doing everything possible to prevent the spread of Corona virus in the state as ANDREW OJIH reports.

The entire world is currently battling with the caronavarius pandemic and Nigeria as nation has been counting losses in both human and economic spheres.

Taraba state which has not recorded any outbreak as at the time of this report was not left behind in the loss of economic resources following a total lockdown  order.

It would be recalled that the state governor, Arc Darius Diskson Ishaku, who has been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic in the state during his recent broadcast promised to use all the arsenals within his disposal to ensure that the story if the state is different.

To that extent, he immediately practicalised it by  constituting a committee known as Taraba Covid 19 Team headed by the state commissioner for health, Dr Innocent Vakai, which is aimed at ensuring that all hands are on deck to curtail or fight the pandemic through all known standards. This entailed locking down the state, at least, partially. This is however without taking into cognisance the situation in the state which cannot be said to be easy considering the poor masses who depend on the daily income to survive.

Despite the availability of electricity and water put in place by the government, most people interviewed across the state were of opinion that the palliative measures said to be put in place should have equally been implemented to cursion the hardship on the people.

Some of the places visited by Blueprint include Mile 6, Mayo-Dasa, Palace Way and Magami where residents shared the same sentiment.

Residents advise govt

Speaking with one the residents at Mile, Mr Jacob Nyami commended Governor Darius for the proactive measure put in place to prevent the pandemic from entering the state. He however, suggested that the state government should move a step further to provide succor to the people.

Another resident from Palace Way in Jalingo, Alhaji Sabiu Maihankali, was of the opinion that their problem is food and money as they cannot go out to look for their daily bread.

What the govt said

It would be recalled that the state deputy governor, Engr Haruna Manu, in a state- wide broadcast on Wednesday ordered a total lockdown following the out break of the pandemic in the neighbouring state of Gombe.

Accordingly, worship centres like churches and mosques are affected by the lockdown except medical personnels, security, the media and other relevant agencies who have permission to move round the state. This is even as all the borders linking Taraba with other states have been closed by security agents.

In that state wide broadcast by the deputy governor, he explained that it was  necessary to address the people of the state on matters relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the decisions taken by the state government to further safeguard the people from the affliction.

According to him, “This has become necessary in view of the increasing number of confirmed cases in our neighbouring states. In spite of the fact that we have not recorded any confirmed case in Taraba so far, we must not be complacent. We have, therefore, resolved to take the following decisive steps.

“There will be a total lockdown throughout the state beginning from tomorrow Wednesday April 22, at 11:00pm.

“All violators of this directive would be arrested and prosecuted. Vehicles found on the road during the period of the lockdown would be impounded. A mobile court would be established to promptly try offenders at the various points of entry into the state.

“Regulated movement of the public is only allowed between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday and Saturday to allow citizens purchase household essentials.

“The only exceptions are workers on essential duties such as health workers, pharmaceutical shops, fuel stations, media houses, etc.

“Security operatives are to henceforth check private and commercial vehicles violating the principles of social distancing by overloading their vehicles with passengers.

“That security operatives should check the influx of commercial tricycles popularly called Keke NAPEP from unknown destinations into Jalingo metropolis and other towns in the state.

“That the security operatives should arrest any unauthorised motorcycle movement within Jalingo metropolis since the ban on the use of motorcycles for commercial purposes is still in force.

“Worship centres such as mosques and churches are hereby closed until further notice.

“All wedding ceremonies, naming ceremonies and other forms of parties remain suspended until further notice.

“Security operatives have been ordered to mount surveillance checkpoints in Ibi, Wukari, Mayo-Lope, Zing, and Takum-Katsina/Ala entry points.

“That the security operatives should work with local government chairmen of Takum, Ussa, Kurmi and Sardauna local government councils to seal off entry points along the Cameroon border.

Continuing further he said, “I thank you all for your cooperation so far on the COVID-19 preventive measures introduced by the state government and I urge you all to be more patient and vigilant so that we can jointly keep the pandemic from our dear state.

“Finally, let me also remind you of the importance of regular washing of hands, use of sanitisers, social distancing and the need for us to stay at home. These have proved globally to be very effective weapons against the spread of the Coronavirus,” he said.

Health commissioner reiterates gov’t stand

In a similar vein, the state commissioner for health and vhairman, Taraba Technical Committee on COVID-19, Dr Innocent Vakai, said the two patients suspected of being infected with COVID-19 have tested negative to the virus.

He noted that the samples of the two persons which were sent for test turned out to be negative.

“We have no positive case of coronavirus in the state and we hope to maintain this status,” he said.

According to him, the state government had distributed hand sanitisers and other personal protective equipment (PPEs) to medical centres and other facilities in the state.

He therefore called on well-meaning people of the state to make voluntary donations to complement government’s effort in the fight against the pandemic.

Vakai also urged residents to continue to maintain social distancing and to observe proper hygiene by washing their hands regularly with soap under running water to stop the spread of the virus.

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