Simon Lalong, Plateau State Governor.

By Taiwo Okanlawon

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and his family have again tested negative to COVID-19, following the infection of two members of his cabinet with the diseaese.

The governor and his household were first tested for the disease in April, which came out negative.

According to a statement by the governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs on Sunday in Jos, Dr Makut Macham, said COVID-19 was not a death sentence.

He also advised members of the public to take responsibility of their health and that of others.

Following the infection of the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Abe Aku, and subsequently the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Noel Donjur, Lalong ordered other members of his cabinet to go on self-isolation beginning on July 1 and test of COVID-19, f

“I have continued to encourage people to subject themselves to COVID-19 test which is very important for us to determine the magnitude of the disease and level of the spread in order to curb further spread and treat people before they get to critical stages.

“Submitting myself and family to another test was therefore necessary as part of leadership by example and also responding to the recent cases of one of my Commissioners and Chief of Staff who were confirmed positive,” the statement quoted Lalong saying.

He reiterated the need for the public to adhere to the guidelines established to combat the disease such as the mandatory use of facemasks, social distancing, hand washing and the use of sanitiser.

He said the testing capacity in Plateau has increased as more people were being tested daily at the National Veterinary and Research Institute ( NVRI) Laboratory and the TB Reference Laboratory at the Jos University Teaching Hospital.

The governor said effort was also being made for the testing of COVID-19 at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital.

“As at 5th July 2020, about 6,000 people have been tested so far in the State,” he said.

Lalong also stressed the continous enforcement of compliance to COVID-19 guidelines particularly in public places and the sanction of defaulters.

The state currently has 436 cases according to the National Centre for Disease Control.