by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Taraba State has confirmed six cases of COVID-19 from samples taken from persons already quarantined by the State Task Force on COVID-19, who are presently at its NYSC isolation center, Sibre.
Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, made this known, while speaking on Monday on the reported index cases of Coronavirus outbreak in the state.
He said, the affected persons are among 130 interstate travelers from Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Borno, Ogun and Lagos states, who were intercepted in their borders.
According to him, “You will recall that the committee had earlier intercepted, on two occasions, 65 and 59 persons from Ogun state enroute to Adamawa state and were allowed to proceed amid tight security.”
While commending the proactive steps of the committee, which led to the isolation and identification of the reported cases, the governor assure the good people of Taraba State that “this is not a time for panic, as government is on top of the situation.”
He further assured the citizens that, additional manpower and resources have been mobilized and deployed to trace contacts of all those that have tested positive to the coronavirus immediately.
“It is quite unfortunate that the reported outbreak came about,
despite the robust proactive steps taken by my administration to prevent the
virus from entering our dear state,” he stated.
The governor reminded the citizens, saying, “Immediately, when the index case was identified in the country, we took a number of preventive steps such as the closure of our land borders with neighbouring states as well as the international boundary with the Republic of Cameroon.
“We also closed temporarily places of worship, schools, markets and other public places that attract large crowds.
“In addition, government had also rolled out intensive sensitization and advocacy programmes using our two religious bodies, traditional institutions as well as the media,” he explained.
Arch. Ishaku further assured the people that government is prepared, having already identified two treatment centers located at the State Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, and the Federal Medical Center also in Jalingo with the combined capacity to handle 22 cases.
Governor Ishaku stressed that, “In the meantime, we are in the process of completing a one hundred bed capacity isolation center with the assistance of Access Bank. Tarabans should, therefore, be rest assured that their protection is paramount and government will do all within its powers to checkmate widespread of the virus.
“The situation we have on our hands now demands strict adherence to preventive measures approved by the World Health Organisation, endorsed by NCDC and adopted by my administration such as regular washing of hands, use of sanitizers, social distancing and avoidance of handshakes. These have proved globally as effective ways of checking the spread of the virus.”
The governor urged the citizens to continue to practice these habits as regular new ways of social interaction to keep the virus in check, adding, “Our lockdown measure, which is meant to encourage people to stay where they are, is not negotiable.”
He called on security agencies to ensure that interstate travelers are prevented from coming into the state and that, those, who are already in the state, stay at home.
According to him, he is aware that these measures come with a lot of inconveniences to the people, while noting that, “But we must adopt them, in order to save lives. Government will do everything possible to ameliorate the suffering of those that may be adversely affected by these measures.”