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Darius Ishaku shuts down markets as Taraba records three COVID-19 cases

By Charles Akpeji (Jalingo), Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi (Jos) and Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna)
02 April 2020   |   4:15 am
Taraba State has recorded three cases of coronavirus, leading to the shutdown by Governor Darius Ishaku.

• Plateau entry, exit routes closed
• Foundation tasks philanthropists, businessmen

Taraba State has recorded three cases of coronavirus, leading to the shutdown by Governor Darius Ishaku.

While one has reportedly proved positive, samples of the remaining two were still at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abuja, laboratory for investigation.

The two unconfirmed cases include that of a student who served in Zing Council of the state and a lady who came from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The third person, who has tested positive, was said to have been discovered in Serti, the headquarters of Gashaka Council.

Briefing journalists yesterday, the deputy governor, Haruna Manu, said result of the lab tests would be made public.

The shutdown took effect from 11p.m. on Wednesday.

Ishaku, the deputy governor added, has engaged with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Moslem Council in the state, which led to the decision to restrict large gathering in places of worship.

Plateau State government has directed that from 6a.m. today (Thursday), all entry and exit routes in the state be closed, as no one would be allowed to come in or leave.

Secretary to the State Government, who doubles as the Coordinating Secretary, Plateau State Covid-19 Task Force, Prof. Danladi Atu, stated this yesterday at a press conference in Government House, Jos.

Atu said that as part of the enforcement of gathering for not more than 50 people, especially during religious events, “any group which disregards this directive will be shut down outright.

“If those gatherings of not more than 50 persons must hold, the organisers should adhere strictly to two-metre distancing, provision of water and sanitisers at entrances.”

He said that government had already established the Covid-19 Support Fund at UBA, and donated N28.5 million.

This came on the heels of the arrest and later release of the controversial national president of Jamaatu Izalatu Bida Wa Ikamat Sunnah (JIBWIS), Sheikh Yahaya Jingir, on Tuesday by the police.

His arrest followed his refusal to strictly abide by the preventive measures reeled out by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation has called on philanthropists and business tycoons to rise up in fighting coronavirus in the north and Nigeria in general.

Members of the Foundation noted with concern yesterday the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.

Managing Director of the Foundation, Abubakar Umar, stated that the Northern group was delighted by the firm steps taken by the Federal Government, especially in the worst hit states of Lagos and Ogun, as well as Abuja.

He remarked, “More commendable are the efforts of private individuals and entrepreneurs who donated buildings, equipment and funds to support government.

“The Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation further wishes to call for volunteers to donate buildings, materials, human or material resources, etc at all capitals of the northern states to serve as isolation centres. “