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COVID-19 fight costs Plateau N366m



PLATEAU State Governor, Simon Lalong says the state government had spent about N366.5 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

  Addressing traditional and community leaders at Government House Jos, today, during a stakeholders meeting to enlighten residents on the prevalence of COVID-19 in the state Lalong disclosed that the state under his watch is doing everything humanly possible to ensure Plateau State is not overwhelmed by the pandemic.

“In terms of financial commitment, the state government has so far committed about N366.5 million to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.” The governor stated.

  Adding, “we launched the Plateau State COVID-19 Endowment Fund which saw good spirited individuals and corporate organisations making donations.”

  He appreciated kind-hearted people that contributed about N123. 3 million as well as other food and medical items valued at about N155 million.

  “The World Health Organisation also recently donated N100 million to the state government which has greatly helped us to treat those infected by the virus.”

Lalong added that the state 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 for distribution to 39,993 households across the 17 local government areas of the state.

  “We are still expecting rice consignment from the CACOVID donation which will be distributed to the beneficiaries,” he said.

  He also disclosed that the state government had set up a committee in preparation for reopening of schools in the state.

  According to the Plateau State COVID-19 Committee, headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, teachers and principals had been trained as part of the preparations, and schools disinfected and task teams established to ensure compliance to all laid down COVID-19 protocols.

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  “Once we finish with exit classes, we shall gradually cascade to other classes within secondary and primary levels. The success we record at these levels shall determine the reopening of tertiary institutions.

  He emphasised that all efforts are geared toward guaranteeing the safety of children and avoid resurgence of the virus.

“We hope that if all goes well, our schools should all re-open by the end of October,” he said.

  He however expressed concern that the biggest challenge in combating of the pandemic was lack of compliance to guidelines and protocols, denials and resistance to contact tracing and testing by some individuals.

  He noted that the role of traditional and community leaders was critical in sensitising and educating the people on the disease, and that their support and cooperation would assist to overcome non compliance to guidelines.

  He said the meeting with the leaders was crucial to forestall further spread of the disease as it was convened to enable them to educate their followers to take personal responsibility for their health and the health of others.

  “Many people are not using the face masks, washing their hands or maintaining social distancing. “As royal fathers, we expect you to lead in the next phase of our advocacy and sensitisation to attain better compliance, particularly now that we are witnessing the opening up of more sectors of the economy.

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