Even though the second wave of the pandemic has seen a high surge in cases of COVID-19 infections in Nigeria, especially after the festive periods, this would not stop the planned resumption of schools across the country as the Federal Ministry of Education has confirmed that the January 18 school resumption date stands.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said the decision to maintain the resumption date was the result of extensive consultations with various relevant stakeholders involved.
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) had in December 2020 ordered schools to remain closed till January 18.
A statement released on Thursday by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ben Goong, said “Sequel to the hint given during the press briefing on 12 January 2021 for the review of the proposed resumption date of 18th January 2021, the Federal Ministry of Education has undertaken a comprehensive appraisal of the situation.
“After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including State Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students, the consensus of opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.”
He said the protocols involved include compulsory wearing of face masks by all students, teachers and workers in all schools, temperature checks and hand washing facilities at strategic locations in all schools.
“Ensuring constant supply of water and sanitizers, Enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days, avoiding overcrowding, including limitations in class sizes and hostel occupancy,” he said.
According to Mr Goong, other protocols include availability of functional health clinics with facilities for isolation and transportation of suspected cases to medical facilities.
The protocols also include adherence to all other non-pharmaceutical protocols, restrictions and containment measures as may be prescribed/approved by the PTF from time to time.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday reported 1479 new cases of COVID19 from 25 states with the two major infected cities recording over half of the cases. The fatalities cases have also constantly been on the rise with 23 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.
With this, the country now has 105,478 cases confirmed, 83830 cases discharged and 1405 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The 1479 new cases were reported in – Lagos (697), FCT (201), Nasarawa (80), Plateau (74), Rivers (62), Edo (46), Adamawa (43), Osun (39), Akwa Ibom (35), Delta (31), Anambra (27), Oyo (24), Kano (21), Abia (19), Enugu (19), Ogun (18), Sokoto (12), Bauchi (7), Taraba (7), Ekiti (4), Gombe (4), Imo (4), Bayelsa (2), Jigawa (2), and Zamfara (1).