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University Resumption: Response Team wants COVID-19 task force in campuses

Universities and other tertiary institutions in the country have been advised to set up a COVID-19 task force in their campuses to enforce compliance with the pandemic protocols. 

 Dr Betta Edu, chairman of the Cross River COVID-19 Response Team (RRT) who doubles as the Commissioner for Health, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Calabar. 

 The Federal Government on Thursday confirmed Jan. 18 as the resumption date for schools in the country, with strict instructions on COVID-19 prevention guidelines. 

 The chairman, who lauded the government’s decision on the resumption of schools, noted that students had been at home for too long. 

 Edu said that students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria should be able to comply with the COVID-19 protocols. 

 She, however, advised that tertiary institutions in states considered to be hot spots of the disease should remain closed. 

 “Schools should be able to take responsibility if they set up a COVID-19 task force within their campuses to enforce the use of face masks and other non-pharmaceutical prevention measures. 

 “The students will be fine. 

 “However, hot spots like Lagos, Abuja, and Kaduna, I do not advise that their tertiary institutions be opened, the government needs to focus more on its attention on these spots. 

 “COVID-19 is real, and we are in a second wave that is more virulent and kills within a shorter period of time. People need to take responsibility and protect themselves,’’ Edu warned. 

 Earlier, Mr Victor Udu, the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Cross River Council appealed to the students of the nation’s tertiary institutions to be patient with the government. 

 Udu said that if the government’s delay in announcing a resumption date for schools was to see how it could protect the lives of the students following the second wave of the pandemic, there should be understanding. 

 “The young students are the future of this country. “What is important is that they remain healthy, they don’t need to rush into an environment that not much has been done to secure them,” he said. 


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