By M. Peter, Jos

Plateau state government has announced the suspension of the two weeks long lockdown beginning from midnight of Thursday 23rd April to midnight of Sunday 26th April.

Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong, announced the suspension of the lockdown in a broadcast on Thursday, said 1, 607 persons have been convicted for violation of the lockdown order.

“As the total lockdown elapses by midnight today 23rd April 2020, Government has adopted the following decisions: The total lockdown will be relaxed from Midnight of Thursday 23rd April 2020 to Midnight of Sunday 26th April 2020 to enable people again re-stock their homes. Thereafter, the total lockdown will resume on Monday 27th April 2020.”

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“We have arrested, tried and convicted 769 violators. This brings to a total of 1,607 convictions so far. We have also continued our surveillance, contact tracing and investigation of suspected cases.”

The governor said during the three days relaxation of the lockdown all other markets remain closed except those selling food items, pharmaceuticals and cooking gas.

All illegal street trading, street hawking, and begging are prohibited during the period.

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Lalong urged residents of the state to take advantage of the three days which the lockdown would be relaxed to stock their homes, assuring that April salary would be paid and palliatives made available for the vulnerable.

He also directed the immediate profiling and returning of the almajiri children to their respective states of origin considering the danger they are exposed to as the result of the COVID-19 disease.

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“Considering the grave danger that Almajiri children are exposed to as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I am directing the immediate profiling and return of all Almajiris from Plateau State to their respective States of origin to join their families and guardians.”

“Accordingly, I have set up a Committee for the immediate profiling and return of Almajiris to be headed by Brig. General Salihu Inusa (rtd).”

The Dune had reported that 19 governors in Northern Nigeria agreed at a meeting earlier this week to ban the Almajiri system.

The governor said the state’s response team on COVID-19 has investigated 231 suspected cases of Coronavirus but none came out positive.

“We have investigated 231 cases and quarantined 221 people who came in from States with COVID-19 cases in our facilities in Heipang and Mangu. Thirty three (33) others have been discharged from self-isolation.”

“Of all the investigated cases, none has been confirmed positive, and we are currently awaiting seven more results. We have equally activated isolation centres in Shendam and Pankshin as we continue to build our capacity to handle this challenge.”

Lalong advised residents of the state to use face mask as often as possible when they are in contact with other people.