Our Reporter, Lafia.
In its efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nasarawa State Government has suspended all social gatherings including weddings and naming ceremonies, with security agencies directed to monitor strict compliance by residents.
This was made known during a press conference organized by the state committee on COVID-19, chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, on Thursday.
Also as part of the measures put in place by the state government to combat the spread of the coronavirus, all markets across the state have been shut, except those selling food items and pharmaceutical shops.
According to the Chairman of the committee, shortly after its inauguration, various sub-committees have been formed, including those of food security, security, heath, justice and law, as well as the sub-committee on local government.
“This sub-committees have gone to work and have made their interim submissions to the committee, which in its meeting today, considered all the submissions and arrived at certain decisions to guide the state,” Dr. Akabe stated.
On the suspension of all social gatherings, the committee on COVID-19, said where it has become necessary to hold such ceremonies, attendance should be restricted to members of the immediate family of not more than 20 people.
The committee further announced that motor parks in the state have been collapsed to only one in each local government area, with medical professionals to be drafted to monitor commuters coming and going out of the state.
It added that government will no longer allow commercial vehicles to pick and drop passengers by the roadside except at designated motor parks.
Regarding the law banning street begging in the state, Dr. Akabe said henceforth any one seen begging on the street will be arrested, with arrangement in place to relocate such beggars to their states of origin.
This is just as the committee announced that worship centres such as Mosques and Churches will remain closed until further notice.
It further announced that the previously established 10 isolation centres in the state have now been collapsed to five general hospitals including the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia. The general hospitals are Medical Centre, Mararaba-Gurku, Doma, Akwanga, Awe and Toto with the committee to carry out inspection visit at the facilities.
On any anticipated total shutdown of the state, the committee said arrangement has been put in place for the purchase of foodstuff such as maize, beans, rice and millet, among others, for reservation in case there is eventual lockdown.
“The Commissioner of Agriculture and Water Resources have been mandated to go round the state and identify the food reservoirs and bring in a proposal immediately, with a budget line on how we can now begin to purchase food and reserve it just in case we have to lockdown,” the Chairman explained.
Additional measures put in place to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic include, the rehabilitation of ten broken down boreholes in each local government area as temporary measure to ensure supply of clean water.
Also, setting up taskforce committees at local government levels by council chairmen, to be extended to the ward level, to replicate the work of the state Committee on COVID-19, as well as recalling retired nurses to run the isolation centres.
And in other to further protect civil servants in the state, the Committee directed that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), provide hand sanitizers and face masks in their respective offices.