Following the directives by the government that schools were free to reopen nationwide from Monday, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19 has released fresh guidelines. PTF National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu, at a briefing in Abuja yesterday disclosed that the fresh guidelines, which schools must strictly adhere to, was developed in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Aliyu said: “Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities and local state officials.
“They must also have a system for providing regular updates for parents, staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking effective measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines. “Specifically, school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly, is wearing a mask and sanitizing their hands. “Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside.
There must be access to running water and hand-washing facilities. “The health staff, particularly in boarding schools, must be trained and provided with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). “There must be appropriate waste management systems. “Health facilities that are within the schools should have the ability to cater for an outbreak and a response protocol must be in place for these schools for students who test positive.
In this regard, it is important to involve their parents and make sure that parents have signed consent forms in advance. “Schools should also work in synergy with the local government rapid response teams and collaborate with the state ministries of health on planning, implementation and reopening of schools.
We encourage schools to consider creative solutions to abide by these guidelines.” Aliyu told voters in Ondo State to adhere strictly to prescribed COVID-19 protocols as they file out to perform their civic duties to elect a new governor for the state tomorrow.
Minister of Environment, Mahmood Abubakar,in his updates, told newsmen that his ministry had completed the fumigation of all the 105 Unity Schools in the country ahead of their resumption on Monday. Meanwhile, the PTF has warned Nigerians against embarking on non-essential travel to high burden countries so as to limit the possibility of contacting the Corona virus disease.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who raised concerns over reported increase in number of infections in several European countries and across the Atlantic, noted that development in West African sub-region indicated that the pandemic was evolving along similar patterns of reduction in cases and fatalities. “While this provides some comfort that we are not out of place in our subregion, we still have no reason for complacency,” he warned.