COVID-19: NMA warns against early reopening of schools

The Nigerian Medical Association has warned against the earlier reopening of schools in January 2021.

The President of the NMA, Professor Innocent Ujah, recalled that he was seen as someone against the progress of the education sector when he warned against the reopening of schools earlier in this year.

Ujah, at a webinar organised by the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, on Wednesday, said the country was not adequately prepared when the schools were reopened.

“When the government wanted to reopen the schools, I cautioned them and said if the schools must be reopen, there must be necessary preparation to prevent the children from contracting the virus. One parent wrote the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 that I don’t want people to go to school and that I was being wicked.

“Now, we all know better; a lot of children who sat for the last WASSCE were infected. Today, some corps members have also been infected. These are some of the things that could have been prevented if sufficient precautions were taken before reopening the schools,” he said.

The NMA President also lamented the disregard for social distancing by Nigerians, saying this had also contributed to the rising COVID-19 cases.

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“Social distancing in my opinion has failed. Recall that during the campaign for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, everyone was falling over each other.

“If you go to the market places, social distancing protocol is not being observed. In that case, are we prepared? I think we need to do a lot of sensitisation,” Ujah added.

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