COVID-19: NOA tells schools to adhere to safety measures 

As educational activities resume as a result of gradual ease of lockdown, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), has charged the management of schools to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of students.

The Director-General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari gave the charge while presenting to the media the fourth and fifth reports of its observations on the sensitisation activities of the agency in the fight against the COVID-19 in Nigeria yesterday in Abuja.

He said, “With regards to schools, we are hopeful that the little opening meant for the exiting classes to write their exams will help the management of schools to adopt practices that will lead to better hygiene and greater safety in our schools.

“As part of that campaign, NOA officials are giving out freely the guideline issued by the NCDC along with the relevant educational authorities so that management of schools will know what to do.

“Community Mobilisation Officers (COMOs) have also been directed to work along with health officials, under the state response teams to inspect schools facilities to ensure that on no account should our children be exposed to the risk of infection due to negligence.

“Information, Educational and communication (IEC) material are to be distributed to schools as part of the campaign. We encourage schools to set up health vanguards to work among students to monitor compliance with protocols within the school premises.

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“The ultimate goal of the sensitisation effort is to bring to a minimum the rate spread of the disease in the country. We believe that this can be achieved only with the support of all Nigerians,” he said.

He appealed to states and local governments to begin sensitisation in schools to ensure safety measures are in place in view of the partial resumption of schools, adding that service providers should ensure that customers are reminded to observe the precaution measures especially use of sanitisers and facemask.

The NOA boss further said, “Health workers and experts have tremendous resilience in tackling the issues associated with the disease. They have through their professional practises continued to give support to infected victims.

“We, therefore, continue to implore them to remain patriotic and resist the temptation to go on strike, knowing that the government will always prioritise their welfare.

“Our field officers, especially in Nasarawa State, have observed the activities of some youths who go about forcing people to remove their facemasks because according to them the virus is not existing”.

As part of its observations, the NOA said while engaging with communities, it observed that many Nigerians have continued to disbelieve the existence and spread of the pandemic.

This observation featured in our two last reports and was the basis for our use of influencers in campaigns and sensitizations.

“We continue to get a report that citizens have further dropped their guards and are not taking responsibility by not using any of the recommended safety measures including the use of facemasks, sanitizers and handwashing.

“The facemask has largely become jaw masks, with people using them only if it will be required for entry into any public places.

“We have noted the resumption of social life in large numbers. Such events as weddings, naming ceremonies, lavish burial ceremonies, chieftaincy taking ceremonies, birthday parties are beginning to hold despite all the warnings by states and health officials”, the NOA Boss said.


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