As the nation prepares for reopening of schools, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has mandated schools to carryout weekly risk assessments while States and LGAs are to conduct monthly and quarterly risk assessment respectively
The Head of Department, Surveillance and Epidemiology Department, NCDC, Mrs Elsie Ilori, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the joint Presidential Tasks Force Briefing on COVID-19.
According to her, “We have also continued to educate the public on measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and continue to review the situation in other countries that have re-opened schools as well as guidance from WHO and other public health authorities
“If schools carefully coordinate, plan, and put the required safety measures in place before reopening, there is lesser risk of COVID-19 cases in school settings
“We are working closely with the Federal Ministry of Education, PTF-COVID-19, States and our partners to ensure that the required safety measures are in place to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our schools.
“The PTF-COVID-19 and Federal Ministry of Education have mandated schools to conduct periodic (weekly) risk assessments while States and LGAs are to conduct monthly and quarterly risk assessment respectively.
“This will help to promptly address the gaps that may exist in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread in schools.
“Beyond this, LGAs and States have been advised to set up multi-sectoral school health committees dedicated to supporting and monitoring the implementation of safety protocols in the schools.”
She further stated that “Safe school reopening requires the collective efforts of all including parents, teachers, school authorities, communities, civil society organisations and the media. The government cannot do this alone.”
Also, the PTF advised school management not to do test for returning students instead, the focus should be monitoring and careful observation for students with all non pharmaceutical measures in place.
The PTF coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu also explained that it is unnecessary burden on parents as the result is as good as when it was done because anyone can contact COVID-19 after the test if proper non pharmaceutical measures are not observed.
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