Schools Reopening: FG Releases Fresh COVID-19 Guidelines

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…Orders Weekly COVID-19 Assessment

As schools reopen across the country the Muhammadu Buhari-led government have released fresh guidelines on COVID-19 assessment for schools to adhere to.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in an electronic mail to The Punch on Thursday, stated that schools had been directed to conduct COVID-19 risk assessment every week.

According to the NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, local governments and states were ALSO directed to conduct monthly and quarterly COVID-19 risk assessment in schools respectively.

The agency stated that part of its responsibility was to work with all relevant stakeholders to strengthen the country’s capacity for early detection and response to COVID-19 cases.

He stated, “We have also continued to educate the public on measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

“We know that as the economy and society re-open gradually, we may record a spike in COVID-19 cases. We have reviewed the situation in other countries that have re-opened schools as well as guidance from WHO, UNICEF and other public health authorities.

“There is lesser risk of COVID-19 cases in school settings, if schools carefully coordinate, plan and put the required safety measures in place before reopening.

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“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. This is to review the gaps that may exist in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread in schools, and tailor interventions to address these gaps. Local governments areas and states are to conduct monthly and quarterly risk assessment respectively.”

“In addition to this, schools are to set up school health teams including teachers and learners that would facilitate implementation of the safety protocols in schools. 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 school.”

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