Speech of His Excellency Governor r of Taraba state Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku on THE REPORTED INDEX CASES OF CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN THE STATE ON THE 27TH APRIL, 2020

Fellow Tarabans

We all woke up this morning to the shocking news of six confirmed cases of Covid-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, from samples taken from persons already quarantined by the State Task Force on Covid 19 who are presently at the NYSC isolation center, Sibre.

2. The persons are among 130 interstate travelers from Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Borno, Ogun and Lagos states intercepted at our borders. You will recall that the committee had earlier intercepted on two occasions 65 and 59 persons from Ogun state enroute to Adamawa state and were allowed to proceed amid tight security.

3. I therefore commend the proactive steps of the committee which led to the isolation and identification of the reported cases.

4. I wish to assure the good people of Taraba State that this is not a time for panic as Government is on top of the situation. Additional manpower and resources have been mobilized and deployed to trace contacts of all those that have tested positive to the corona virus, immediately.

5. It is quite unfortunate that the reported outbreak came about despite the robust proactive steps taken by my administration to prevent the virus from entering our dear State.

6. You will recall that immediately the index case was identified in the country, we took a number of preventive steps such as the closure of our land borders with neighbouring states as well as the international boundary with the Republic of Cameroon. We also closed temporarily places of worship, schools, markets and other public places that attract large crowds.

7. In addition, government had also rolled out intensive sensitization and advocacy programmes using our two religious bodies, traditional institutions as well as the media.

8. Fellow Tarabans, let me assure you that we are prepared, having already identified two treatment centers located at the State Specialist Hospital, Jalingo and the Federal Medical Center also in Jalingo with the combined capacity to handle 22 cases.

9. In the meantime, we are in the process of completing a one hundred bed capacity isolation center with the assistance of Access Bank. Tarabans should therefore be rest assured that their protection is paramount and government will do all within its powers to checkmate widespread of the virus.

10. The situation we have on our hands now demands strict adherence to preventive measures approved by the World Health Organisation endorsed by NCDC and adopted by my administration such as regular washing of hands, use of sanitizers, social distancing and avoidance of handshakes. These have proved globally as effective ways of checking the spread of the virus.

11. We in Taraba State should continue to practice these habits as regular new ways of social interaction to keep the virus in check. Our lockdown measure which is meant to encourage people to stay where they are is not negotiable. Security agencies are to ensure that interstate travelers are prevented from coming into the State and that those who are already in the State stay at home.

12. I am aware that these measures come with a lot of inconveniences to the people, but we must adopt them in order to save lives. Government will do everything possible to ameliorate the suffering of those that may be adversely affected by these measures.

13. I thank you all for your support and cooperation.