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Plateau confirms 66 suspected COVID-19 cases, NYSC donates sanitisers, others

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• Kaduna threatens to lock travellers in isolation ward
• Arogundade condemns police harassment, attacks on journalists

Plateau State has revealed that it is battling with 66 suspected cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with no positive case at the moment.

Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Danladi Atu, stated that as of Thursday, the state was still at zero level of COVID-19 as far as occurrence is concerned, but that the figure of suspected cases kept rising with scarce facility to combat the virus in case of any occurrence.

While addressing the Coordinator, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state, Caroline Embu, and corps members who donated 515 hand sanitisers to fight the pandemic, he highlighted that the state could only guarantee 11 ventilators at the moment.

“We bought some (ventilators) in Lagos at N15 million, something that was being sold for N7.5 million. After payment, our money was returned to us and were told that a state had paid N18 million for each of the ventilators we paid for,” he said.

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He therefore urged NYSC members serving in the state who could produce ventilators, compressors and sanitisers to come forth, as the state government was willing to support and partner with the scheme to save lives.

“I am glad to see that some of you have produced hand wash and sanitisers for the good people of Plateau and we will partner with you for more productions,” he added.

A serving corps member, Joy Anyaegbu, donated 150 hand sanitisers, while NYSC staff and other corps members produced 220 hand wash and 145 sanitisers.

The Kaduna State Government has warned travellers trying to breach its quarantine conditions to desist or face 14 days in an isolation facility.

The Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said all entry points would be barricaded, and only authorised traffic would be allowed passage.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai, in a state broadcast yesterday, said his government could no longer tolerate unauthorised travellers violating the order.

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Meanwhile, the director, International Press Centre (IPC), Lanre Arogundade, has decried assaults on journalists by security agents seeking to enforce the COVID-19 lockdown across the country.

He said the harassment and attack on journalists covering COVID-19 would be counter-productive to Federal Government’s effort to control the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

Arogundade, in a statement yesterday, explained that while such harassment represented the violation of human rights, they could be detrimental to the health of the public, as the role of the media during the on-going pandemic was to provide credible information that would enable the citizens to stay well informed and take decisions that enhance their safety.

In another vein, Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN) has protested against the closure of cattle markets across the country, calling on the Federal Government to immediately open all cattle markets.

The group also lamented that “hunger and diseases are already ravaging our members’ families and communities in almost all the states where cattle markets have been shut down, as our members are not benefiting from the Federal Government’s palliative measures through the Special Intervention Programme (SIP).”

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