A University don, Professor Isa Sadeeq-Abubakar, Director in the Centre for Infectious Disease Research, Bayero University Kano has warned against the rushed reopening of schools in Nigeria.
This is as he argued that the number of infected persons across various states in Nigeria is more than what is been reported and if schools resume, the cases will spike again.
He, therefore, urged the federal government to reconsider its plans to reopen schools for academic activities.
Naija News recalls the Federal Government on Tuesday stated that schools across the country will resume on January 18, 2021, until a fresh directive by the Ministry of Education.
This was made known by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Recall that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had said the Federal Government would review the date fixed for resumption of schools.
Speaking on a television programme, PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu said the minister did not say the date has been changed.
“As regards schools, I just want to make a clarification, what the minister said yesterday was that they were going to review, he didn’t say that they were going to change the date,” Aliyu said.
“He said they will review the situation and let the nation know.
“So, for the moment, it is still 18th January until the ministry of education comes back either with an alternative date or reconfirm that.”
Professor Sadeeq-Abubakar, however, argued that it is unsafe for the government to order the reopening of schools based on the fact that covid-19 infections in the country are underreported.
He submitted that many are carrying the virus without even knowing and if schools resume, physical distancing can not be maintained.
His submission is in agreement with the position of ASUU who insisted that the safety of students can’t be guaranteed if public universities should resume now.
He said this on Tuesday, during an interview on Channels Television’s News At 10 that “One thing I want us to understand is that the number of daily cases is not truly a representation of the cases in Nigeria.”
“That is why the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 is taking measures to assist the states to ramp up their tests and unless we are able to reach a minimum level of about 5% of Nigerians being tested, I do not feel we are at that level where we can confidently say that we are there as far as control is concerned.
“So, if we allow a lot of commercial activities, social activities and academic activities to take place, there is a likelihood of people mixing very well and if you look at the university, it is like the whole country coming together.”
Meanwhile, Naija News previously reported that the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic will impact negatively on the development, safety and wellbeing of children globally, noting that schools are not drivers of the viral disease.
The United Nations Children’s Fund on Tuesday, claimed that the closure of schools due to the outbreak of COVID-19 will impact negatively on the development, safety and wellbeing of children across the world.
In a related development, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed one thousand three hundred and ninety-eight (1,228) new cases of COVID-19 disease in Nigeria.
The new cases were reported on the health agency’s official Twitter account on Wednesday night, January 12, 2021.
Naija News reports that the overall reported cases of the novel virus in Nigeria as confirmed by the NCDC is now 103,999 which includes 82,555, discharged cases and 1382 deaths.