Ondo State Interministerial Committee on Coronavirus has called for robust relationship, preparedness and understanding among all stakeholders in the fight against COVID-19, just as it charged school authorities to intensify efforts at ensuring students and teachers strictly comply with universal precautionary measures put in place to mitigate Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection among the populace.
The Chairman of the Committee and Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, represented by the Director, Epidemiology and Disease Control in Ondo State, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, stated this in Owo during a sensitisation, advocacy and inspection of schools in the Northern Senatorial District of the State, where the Committee observed very low compliance of COVID-19 preventive protocols in most of the schools visited.
Fatusi who stated that academic institutions risk of spreading Coronavirus is higher because of the demographic of its publics, noted that even though some schools provided hand washing materials, most of them were not filled with water nor utilized.
The Chairman cautioned them about dangers attached to partial or non-compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and therefore used the occasion to educate students on hand washing hygiene as well as proper use of hand sanitisers.
He noted that the government is interested in ensuring the safety of teachers and students across the State, as learning continues.
In his words, “it is not yet tine to sleep. We are in the second wave. This battle must be fought by everyone, because it is everybody’s business and as such we must work harder to prevent a second lockdown.
“We want to continue to partner with higher institutions in the area of research. We must find solutions to thus pandemic. Our own scientists must work better, either to develop a home-grown solution or better ways to cope. We want research that will solve problems associated with COVID-19. We must continue to remind ourselves that, COVID-19 is still with us, contrary to public opinion”.
The Professor maintained that Coronavirus has continued to spread all over the world and anybody can be infected, as such the cooperation of school authorities remains strategic and sacrosanct in the fight against COVID-19.
He advised students to be conscious of the outbreak as they go home for holiday; while urging everyone to celebrate the yuletide season with moderation.
Responding, the Registrar, Achievers University, Owo, Revd. Canon Bayode Oladimeji, said the institution will intensify its efforts at ensuring staff and students comply with COVID-19 protocols. Others who spoke with journalists also reiterated their commitment to obeying all the preventive guidelines outlined by the National Centre for Diseases and Control (NCDC) and other organs responsible for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
Some of the schools visited are Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Achievers University, Owo, Imade College, Owo, St. Louis Grammar school, Owo, among others.