FILE PHOTO: Commuters at the motor park.

Nasarawa state government says advocacy and immediate testing will now take place at motor parks across the state to sensitize travellers on safety steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Mr Ahmed Yahaya, Commissioner for Health made this known at a news briefing held at the Nasarawa State Government House in Lafia on Saturday shortly after a stakeholders’ meeting chaired by Governor Abdullahi Sule on measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

He said that the measure will prevent infected travellers coming into the state from spreading the disease to residents of the state.

Yahaya told newsmen that some of the resolutions reached after the meeting were to screen and test travellers coming into the state at every motor park across the state so as to ensure that no traveller comes in with the disease.

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“We are moving to parks and markets to increase sensitization, advocacy and we have ordered necessary gadgets for us to test on-spot travellers and traders so as to ensure the disease does not come to the state,” he said.

The commissioner added that aside from going to motor parks and markets, the state government has concluded plans for its health officials to visit homes of residents to guard against any surprise infection.

He also said plans were underway to set up coronavirus task force committees in all the local government areas in the state to monitor any suspicious case and report it immediately.

On her part, Hajiya Fatu Sabo, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said the state government would soon be shutting down schools in the state as a preventive measure but called on parents not to panic over the move.

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She rather urged parents to curtail movements of their wards so as to ensure they are not in crowded places to reduce the risk of being infected and to justify the impending shutting down of the schools.

The commissioner said the aim of the shut down of schools was to ensure social distancing measure emphasized by the federal government to limit the spread of the disease.

Justice Sidi Bage (Rtd), Emir of Lafia, who was also at the briefing also informed newsmen that the traditional institution will engage town criers to spread information on the disease and preventive steps to take.

He added that grassroots traditional rulers would also be enjoined to speak to their subjects on the pandemic nature of the virus and steps to take to prevent the infection.

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Bishop Joseph Masin, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Alhaji Mohammed Ali, Secretary-General of Ja’amatu Nasril Islam (JNI), Nasarawa state chapter, both spoke on behalf of the religious institution.

They urged believers to adhere to every directive issued by the federal and state governments so as not to allow the disease to spread to the state.