THE federal and state governments have been urged to ensure periodic testing and monitoring of students’ activities across the country following their resumption amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The director, School of Communication and Information Technology at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Dr Goke Raufu, urged the government to periodically test all students to ascertain their COVID-19 status.
Raufu who spoke exclusively to the Nigerian Tribune also urged the government to pay serious attention to the provision of adequate information on the pandemic, lamenting that government is more concerned about the financial aspect of the management of the pandemic.
He said: “All over the world, governments have put in place mechanisms that would make understanding COVID-19 possible for the masses but we are particularly not interested.
“Somewhere in the Middle East, students were turned back home a week after the resumption. It also happened in Ghana. Now in Nigeria, we have asked the children to resume for WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination). How much of monitoring are we doing to ensure compliance with the prevention guidelines?
“As they have returned to schools, there should have been periodic testing and monitoring of the activities of the children and their health. Who is doing that? It now takes the parents to manage the lives of their children. In situations like this, what do you expect? Before you know it, all kinds of information will most likely spread again between now and the time they finish the examinations.”
Raufu also urged the government to upgrade its database and ensure that those affected by COVID-19 are properly documented.
“We do not really have a database in Nigeria. We do not have a way of covering all those who died of COVID-19. People have died and people are still dying of COVID-19. The government and the people are lackadaisical and to that extent, people die of so many ailments without even knowing that those are the causes of the deaths. It is only those who have access to the hospital and those who have names that are being recorded. There is a need for us to manage issues about COVID-19 and others.
“The government at all levels needs to provide regular information about COVID-19 and its management across all media. There must be regulated scientific information about COVID-19. As at now, it looks as if the government has left COVID-19 information management to the people.”
“Now that we have reached the community transmission stage, there is the need to put all hands on the deck and get the local government involved very seriously. They have health as well as information department which must be put to work so that Nigerians can have adequate education about COVID-19,” he added.
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