By Adekola Afolabi
Seven months after the closure of educational institutions due to coronavirus pandemic, Ondo state government has directed that all schools across the state to resume full academic activities by Monday October 19, 2020.
Government, however, directed that all schools from nursery to high institutions must abide by the COVID-19 preventive guidelines released by the State Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to ensure the safety of staff and students.
Addressing journalists in Akure, the state capital, the Chairman, Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 who is also the Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, revealed that the Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has also instructed the State Inter-ministerial Committee to conduct periodic monitoring visits to schools to ensure compliance.
According to Fatusi, any school found contravening the COVID-19 guidelines would be shut.
The Chairman stressed that schools reopening must adhere to the guidelines set including displaying, “No Mask, No Entry,” at the entrance of the school and at strategic spots throughout the school compound; using Infrared thermometer to assess the temperature of staff, students, and visitors at the point of entry into the schools.
Other guidelines are; provision of Hand washing devices with adequate and constant source of running water and soaps in schools to enable all wash their hands when entering the schools; hand sanitisers with alcohol content of not less than 70%, while all individuals with high temperature or who show any form of illness must not be allowed into school.
“Seats in the classrooms and staff rooms must be separated with a minimum space of two metres or six feet (two arm’s length); and a “COVID-19 monitoring team” must be established in each school with the responsibility for monitoring and ensuring full compliance of all staff and students with the above-stated guidelines,” he added.
Prof. Fatusi who noted that since the past few months when the virus started, government had put in place necessary measures to curtail it, adding that the good news is that government has successfully flattened the curve while high level of public health control has been achieved.
He appreciated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, health workers, the press and all other critical stakeholders for their efforts and support so far, saying that government has made significant progress in every front.
Also speaking, the Acting Commissioner for Health in the State, Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye, said the State now has 12 newly confirmed cases from Akoko South East (4 cases), Akure South (3 cases), Ile-Oluji Okeigbo (1 case), Ose (1 case), Owo (1 case), Idanre (1 case) and Okitipupa (1 case), adding that seven (7) confirmed cases were symptomatic, while two (2) of the newly confirmed cases were healthcare workers from Akoko South East Local Government Area.
He added the State has a total of 1651 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 25 active confirmed cases and 36 deaths.