Abiodun OBA |
Lagos, Ogun and Anambra State Governments have taken more proactive measures to protect children and their teachers from the scourge of coronavirus pandemic by ordering that all public and private schools in the states be shut.
Lagos schools are to be shut from Monday, March 23, 2020, while those in Ogun and Anambra will be closed after school hours on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said, “the move becomes necessary to prevent our children and their teachers from getting more vulnerable to the pandemic”.
Omotosho in a statement on his official twitter page added, “The closure is not intended to create panic but to arrest the spread of the disease, which has become a global threat.
“The Incident Command Centre, headed by the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is the Incident Commander, will continue to trace all contacts of the identified cases and encourage anyone who has information about suspected cases to report to the nearest hospital or call the emergency telephone numbers 08023169485, 08033565529, 08052817243 and 08023401214.
“It is important for parents to ensure that their children practise ‘social distancing’ while at home, wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitizers and observe high standards of personal hygiene. Children should be encouraged to remain at home,” Omotosho added.
Ogun shuts schools indefinitely
Meanwhile, in a statement issued to newsmen in Abeokuta on Thursday, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, explained that the ban on high-density gatherings affected all schools – public and private – as well as all religious activities in the State.
The statement said, “Consequently, all schools in the state will remain closed indefinitely after school hours on Friday, March 20, 2020.
“Also, all religious centres and activities including regular and special services that bring together 50 or more persons in the same place are banned with immediate effect.
“These measures will be reviewed at regular intervals in response to the development surrounding the coronavirus disease.
“The Government, therefore, enjoins all parents and guardians who have their children and wards in any boarding facility within the State to immediately evacuate them and return them to their respective homes at the close of schools on Friday, March 20th, 2020.
“Governor Dapo Abiodun pleads for the understanding of parents, school owners and the entire citizenry to comply fully with all laid down measures and for them to offer useful information for the state to respond appropriately to the COVID-19 challenge.”
Anambra also orders closure
In a related development, Anambra State Government ordered all schools in the state to vacate indefinitely over the coronavirus pandemic effective March 20 even as most schools in the state were planning to commence their second term examinations next week.
The government said, “All inter-house sports competitions are hereby suspended until further notice.
“The management of all schools in the state must provide handwash stations at the entrance of all schools.
“They must ensure that all students and visitors wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, allowing their hands to air-dry. It is desirable for parents to provide hand sanitizers for their wards.
“Management of all schools must on arrival to school, take the temperature of their day students. Temperatures above 37.9 degrees Celsius must be reported to the nearest hospital.
“Schools management are encouraged to take the temperature of their boarding students at least once every day. Temperatures above 37.9 degrees Celsius must be reported to the nearest hospital.
“All Primary and Secondary Schools in Anambra State must go on indefinite vacation effective 27th March 2020”
“Students of Anambra tertiary institutions must proceed on vacation effective 20th of March 2020 until further notice.”
Recall that, governors of Northwest states on Wednesday also ordered the closure of schools in the seven States in the region.
No case of coronavirus has been detected in the Northwest but the governors took the decision as a precautionary measure.
Nigeria has also suspended its football league while orientation camps for corps members were abruptly shut nationwide early on Wednesday.
Eight coronavirus cases have been detected in Nigeria, majority of them in people who arrived Nigeria via Lagos. Lagos is also Nigeria’s main treatment centre for the disease.
Editing by ‘Biodun Soyele
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