COVID-19: Don’t be in a rush to reopen schools, FG warns

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The Federal Government has warned state governments against reopening schools stating that COVID-19 remains potent and very dangerous.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha who gave the warning in Abuja at the 62nd joint national briefing of the taskforce noted that the taskforce would be submitting the seventh Interim Report to President Muhammadu Buhari and would be guided by his directives on the next phase.

According to Mustapha, as the nation plans to re-open more sectors, everyone must stay the course and stick with the winning strategy which is anchored on the ability of our health institutions to contain the virus.

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He said that as the nation entered the last few days of the extended eased lockdown phase of the Nation’s National Response this week, the PTF, like the global community, was confronted with a series of emerging new developments around the characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mustapha stated further that while government has intensified its targeted testing strategy, states to expand the scope of their sample collection.

According to him, “While citizens wear facemasks properly, stay away from crowded places, avoid mass gatherings, maintain simple hygienic practices and as much as possible protect the elderly and most vulnerable to this pandemic.

“It is in the above context that the PTF appreciates the on-going calls for re-opening of the education sector and indeed some sub-nationals are already making preparations for such.

“Whilst the PTF does not discourage making such preparations, we need to be guided by experiences from countries such as Germany, France, the United States and the UK where opening of schools in some cities led to an increase in confirmed cases and fatalities,” Mustapha said.