by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The sum of N366.5 million is said to have been committed by the Plateau State Government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Governor Simon Lalong announced this recently, while briefing traditional rulers in the state at Government House Little Rayfield in Jos.
He revealed that the launching of Plateau State COVID-19 Endowment Fund saw good spirited individuals and corporate organizations making donations amounting to N123.3million, as well as other food and medical items valued at about N155 million.
According to him, the World Health Oganization (WHO) also recently donated N100 million to the state government, which he said has greatly helped the state to treat those infected by the virus.
Equally, he said, such donations also helped to enhance their capacity to distribute palliatives to the weak and vulnerable to cushion the impact of the pandemic.
The governor further explained that, the state government also received donations from the private sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) comprising of maize flour, pasta, noodles, sugar, salt, and semolina worth about N850 million, to be distributed to 39,993 households across the 17 local government areas of the state.
Lalong noted that, preparatory to the reopening of schools, a committee has been set up on readiness and compliance headed by the SGS, while the sub-committee is headed by Commissioner for Secondary Education and Chairman of SUBEB.
He said, principals and teachers have been trained, schools disinfected, and task team established towards ensuring that all laid down protocols are observed, adding that, “Once we finish with exit classes, we shall gradually cascade to other classes within secondary and primary levels.
“The success record of these levels shall determine the reopening of tertiary institutions, all in a bid to guarantee the safety of our children and avoid resurgence, and hope that, if all goes well, then, our schools should all re-opening by end of October, 2020,” he said.
“As Royal Fathers, we expect you to lead in the next phase of our advocacy and sensitization to attain better compliance, particularly now that we are witnessing the reopening-up of more sectors of the economy. We need to wake our people from laxity,” he urged.
Also giving the update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, commissioner for health, Dr. Nimkong Lar, said the state has 3,175 confirmed cases, 2,202 discharged, while 919 are active cases – that is, people with the virus; this is from all the 17 local government areas of state.
He explained that, “Jos North and Jos South with the highest; as of now, we have only 23 people on admission, while many people of about 552 are at home on home-base care, that is, receiving treatment at home; and have 33,377 cases yet to move or assigned to treatment.”
He also stated that, they have 14,344 cases of interest; that’s interstate travailing, and also those, who have been in contact with those infected, are 1,320 people that are found positive, while those with the symptoms are 915.
Speaking on behalf of Traditional Council of Plateau State, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, assured that, as traditional rulers they would continue to work with government accordingly, saying, “What we witnessed today is evidence that work is going on, and we continue to go on for the betterment of the state,” and appealed to traditional rulers to call for meetings of all traditional councils and wards heads to continue to talk to the people and educate them.