Plateau youth group reject quarantine centre at residential area

The Berom Youth Moulders-Association (BYM) has urged the Plateau State Government to relocate the quarantine centre sited at a residential area in the Heipang District of Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The head of the Berom Youth Moulders-Association, Heipang District, Rwang Tengwong, in a press statement issued in Jos on Monday, said the victim of the first COVID-19 case in the state was isolated at the centre before the sample was taken.

He said the quarantine centre at Godiya Tourists Resort adjacent to the main campus of the Plateau State Polytechnic, allowed resort staff to interact with the suspects, posing a serious threat to the community.

The group’s statement reads:

“The Plateau State Government through the Commissioner of Health, Dr Ninkong Lar Ndam, reacting to the community’s concern on the 20th of April, 2020 during a live programme on one of the radio stations in the state had admitted that the said facility did not follow WHO guidelines as it is within a residential area.

“He promised to relocate the quarantine centre from its present location to the state NYSC Camp after the end of the 14 days quarantine period for the first batch of inmates which ends on Monday, 27th April 2020. Dr Ndam also assured members of the public that proper precautionary measures will be taken.

“Regrettably, on the 23rd of April, 2020, Plateau State recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Information has it that the index case, who is a 20-year-old woman who returned from Kano State, was quarantined at Godiya Tourists Resort in Heipang Community from the 21st of April before testing positive to the virus on the 23rd of April, 2020.

“This further added to our fears that there is a possibility that these innocent workers who are only trying to put food on the table of their families have been exposed to great risk.”

Tenwong said the community notes with concern that despite the promise by the Commissioner of Health to relocate the centre, new inmates are being admitted into Godiya Tourists Resort for quarantine.

“Sadly also is the fact that the index case stayed for 48 hours at the facility after she was confirmed positive for COVID-19. Also, members of the community who work in the hotel still offer services as against the WHO guideline which says their services be withdrawn and health workers take over the facility.

“We want to make it clear that if government does not relocate the quarantine centre from the present residential area by 23:59 of Monday the 27th of April, 2020, we will be forced to interpret government’s action as a biological war against us.

“We will also not be deterred to constitute legal proceedings if the matter is not addressed properly by the end of the deadline and also be forced to petition the United Nations and the World Health Organisation,” the group threatened in its statement.