Taraba State Governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, on Wednesday, announced the closure of markets and restriction of gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Addressing journalists in Jalingo, State Deputy Governor, Engr. Haruna Manu, said the earlier directives of stay at home and closure of the interstate border was still in force and directed security agencies to ensure compliance.

Manu, who said the State was yet to record any confirmed case of the virus, noted that the government was determined to do everything possible to prevent the outbreak of the pandemic.

He said, “Though the state has not witnessed any outbreak, robust and proactive measures are being put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus to any part of the State.

“I wish to remind you that the ban on the public gathering of not more than 20 persons is still in place to safeguard the lives of all citizens.

“As part of proactive measures to contain the virus, the government has now directed markets and shops in the State to prepare for a closedown, effective from Wednesday, 1st April 2020 by 11 pm, except those that provide essential services like pharmacies, food stores, and petrol service stations.”

The government, however, cautioned that the measures being put in place should not cause panic buying as the government would deal with shop owners who hoard or hike prices of goods and services.