Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on Wednesday ordered members of the State Executive Council to undergo COVID-19 test as a Commissioner in his cabinet tested positive for the deadly virus.
This was contained in a statement signed by the State Commissioner of information, Dan Manjang, on Wednesday.
The governor also directed the members of the State Executive Council to proceed on self isolation immediately after the test for COVID-19, beginning from July 1.
The statement said: “These directives became imperative following the fact that a member of the State Executive Council and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Abe Aku, has tested positive for the virus.
“Based on these directives, specimens of the Commissioners are to be taken and forwarded to the COVID-19 Laboratory at The National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom, for testing.
“During the period and pending the outcome of the results, members of the public are advised not to indulge in unnecessary visits to members of the State Executive Council while they isolate.”
Lalong said the measure was not only to prevent possible spread of the disease, but also to show leadership by example.
Lalong reminded the executive council members that he and his family had, at the heat of the pandemic, carried out the test when all of them tested negative.
He reiterated his warning against stigmatisation of individuals, saying: “COVID-19 is not a death sentence and only continuous testing will reveal the rate of infection and facilitate treatment to save lives.”
He expressed optimism that by this act, members of the public would be more encouraged to make themselves available for testing and at the same time obey the COVID-19 protocols of wearing face masks, social distancing, hand washing and the use of alcohol-based sanitisers.
The governor also reminded the public that the enforcement of orders issued by the State Government still subsisted and that “those found violating them will be prosecuted”.