The Federal Government has asked state governments and school administrators to start making preparations for full reopening of schools — in latest move that signals the complete reopening of the economy hobbled since March by covid-19 pandemic.
Recall that schools in the country had been shut in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.
However, the Federal Government announced the resumption of graduating pupils effective August 4, 2020, to write this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination from August 17, 2020, through September 12, 2020.
But speaking on Thursday, Dr Sani Aliyu, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, said the task force recommends phased return of students.
Aliyu said during a briefing at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja that “For educational institutions which include daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Educational institutions should begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase.
“However, strongly recommend that states conduct risk assessment to ensure all schools are at a level of compliance and create a monitoring mechanism to assess and create and monitor this level of preparedness.
“Meanwhile, all daycares and educational institutions to remain closed to in-classes until this level of risk is assessed. And if there will be opening of schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public and in particular to vulnerable groups that might end up getting infected by students going back home.”
Aliyu also announced that the curfew imposed to restrict movement amid the coronavirus pandemic is now from 12 midnight to 4am in the morning.
He however explained that people on essential service and travellers returning from abroad are exempted from the curfew.
“We are modifying the curfew to commence from 12 midnight to 4am nationwide, effective from 12:00 tonight.
“This does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from abroad.”
The PTF, following the lifting of the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic, had on May 4, 2020, imposed a nationwide curfew from 6pm to 8am. It later reviewed the timing to between 10pm and 4am on June 1, 2020.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 216 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported across the country on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
In a late-night tweet on Wednesday, the nation’s health agency disclosed that the new infections were recorded in 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Of the new cases, Plateau has the highest number – 59, followed by Rivers, Abia, and Lagos which have 27, 22, and 20 more infections respectively.
Others are Oyo – 18, Enugu – 17, Kaduna – 11, FCT – 11, Ogun – 10, Ebonyi – four, Osun – four, Ekiti – four, Delta – three, Edo – three, Akwa Ibom – two, and Bauchi – one.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country since Nigeria reported its first infection in February to 54,463.
Similarly, those who have lost the battle to COVID-19 in Nigeria increased by four, raising the death toll from the disease to 1,027.
On the positive note, the number of recoveries increased to 42,439 after 429 more patients were successfully treated and discharged from various isolation centres in the country.
As of 11:11pm on September 2, Nigeria has a total of 10,997, according to the NCDC.
This represents 20.19 per cent of the total confirmed cases with 77.92 per cent recoveries and 1.88 per cent deaths recorded.