School resumption: Ogun still consulting

Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State Governor

The Ogun State Government has said it was still consulting with stakeholders in public and private schools to develop guidelines for a safe reopening of schools, especially to allow students in the graduating classes to resume and write their examinations.

This fuels uncertainty over the likelihood of schools in the state resuming almost immediately.

Recall that the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 last Monday announced that graduating students in primary and secondary schools have been permitted to resume even as there was were no direct guidelines to that effect.

The official information from the Ogun State government in the interim is that a committee had been set up to look into the matter and the outcome of the deliberations would determine the resumption date.

It did not however disclose the membership of the committee.

The government’s position was contained in a press release issued in Abeokuta by the governor’s Spokesperson, Kunle Somorin, noting that available data and opinions of experts continue to indicate that the fight against the virus is far from being won.

The statement affirmed that the state government would continue to be deliberate, cautious, focused and balanced in its approach and place highest priority on public safety over and above any other consideration in its efforts to flatten the curve of the dreaded COVID-19 the state.

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The statement reads that: “To date, a total number of 4,072 people have been tested out of which 898 tested positive. Amongst the positive cases, 609 have been successfully treated and discharged.

“Sadly, there have been a total of 19 deaths with 270 active cases. One of our border local governments is one of the local governments with the highest number of cases in the country because of the level of testing.

“This high level of prevalence may also be obtainable in other local governments as we ramp up testing. All this emphasises the need for us to exercise high level of restraint as the state can neither afford more fatalities or allow the rate of sickness to outnumber the capacity to manage the sick.

“Consequently, we are extending our current phase of eased restrictions for another two weeks. As usual, we will continuously review and modify the guidelines in response to data from the field and expert opinions.

“While noting the recent lifting of the ban on interstate travels by the federal government, the state will monitor this development to determine its impact on the COVID-19 situation and will not hesitate to make appropriate adjustment, in consultation with the federal government.”

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The government reiterated that the following restrictions will remain in place.

“All five working days in the week (Monday to Friday) are still open for businesses and other economic transactions with only Saturday and Sunday as lockdown days.

“Commercial activities are not permitted on weekends; churches and mosques activities will remain closed; observation of dusk-to-dawn curfew as directed by the Presidential Task Force between 10.00pm and 4.00am local time, daily, as well as wearing of face masks in the public is still mandatory.

“Only one passenger is still allowed for motorcycles and two passengers only for tricycles. Taxi cabs and buses still have 60% limitation on their carrying capacity and the measure to arrest and impound any driver that contravenes this in our state is still in force;

“The COVID-19 Task Force in markets must continue to ensure physical distancing, availability of hand washing facilities, and use of gloves and facemasks for traders;

“Decontamination will continue in markets and other public places; limitation of all gatherings to a maximum number of 20, is still in effect.

“Gyms, event centres, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, nightclubs, swimming pools, barber-shops, spas, beauty Salons, and all public parks, including those in private residential estates, are still not allowed to operate.

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“Restaurants are permitted to provide only take-away services and should also ensure that there are no more than 10-15 customers at a time with physical distancing measures in place. Guidelines for eat-in services are still being fine-tuned.

“All industries in Ogun State must continue to comply with the Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for Workplaces,” the statement concluded.

According to the government, guidelines will continue to be reviewed and modified in response to data from the field and expert opinions. reported that in neighbouring Lagos, the government had already disclosed that the students in graduating classes would resume on 3rd August to write their terminal exams.

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