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Lagos explain reasons behind schools reopening amid 2nd wave of COVID-19

Ayodele Olalere

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Tuesday, explained that over 24,000 students in the state did not return to school after the first wave of COVID-19, adding this was the reason behind the state government’s decision  to reopen schools in spite  of the 2nd wave of the virus.

Criticisms has trailed the decision of the government to reopen schools, while civil servants in the state from Grade Level 14 and below were asked to work from home.

While briefing press men at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, the governor added the state witnessed increase in domestic violence against children during the first wave of the virus, adding if the pupils stay long at home, they could be turned into something else.

He said the decision to reopen schools, though a difficult one, was in the best interest of the students, adding it was to prevent vulnerable children from being molested at home.

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“As you are aware, all schools in the state have been directed to open in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government, and they have commenced school activities on January 18.

“This was a difficult decision to make in the light of the second wave of Covid-19 but I assure you it was the best decision for our children’s safety and long term development especially for vulnerable children.”

The staff and management of the Ministry of Education have been monitoring compliance of both public and private schools with the safety policies and protocols laid out. Parents are encouraged to ensure the protocols of safety are adhered to in the homes and that they model responsible behaviour to their children all times.”

The governor further urged Lagosians to treat any malaria symptoms as Covid-19 until proverb otherwise.

“In this 2nd wave of the current pandemic, any malaria symptoms should be considered as Covid-19 virus infection unless and until otherwise proven. Any affected individual with Covid-like symptoms should proceed to any of our public health facilities or laboratories to get tested.”

On travel protocols, Governor Sanwo-Olu warned “in line with the approval obtained from the Federal Government, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 through the Immigration Service will deactivate passports of citizens who default in presenting themselves for PCR test.”

In that area of transport, the governor said the decision not to enforce social distancing in public transport was due to increase in awareness  among Lagosians on the danger the virus poses, and urged Lagosians to be more safety conscious by regularly wearing face masks and use of sanitisers.

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He further said ” increase in the positivity of cases has necessitated the provision of greater amounts of concentrated oxygen for the moderate to severe cases on admission in our isolation centres.”

“Over the last few weeks, the demand for oxygen has risen from 70 6-litre cylinder per day to 350 6-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital. This is projected to more than double to 750 6-litre cylinders, before the end of January 2021.

ln addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State Government has decentralized the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks.

Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that require them. Five of these have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks. It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of local government areas  as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres,” he added.