By George Samuel
Federal Government is yet to fix date for reopening of schools shut over the coronavirus pandemic.
It said despite the agitations for reopening of schools, it would continue to monitor situations with a view to preventing a spike in the infection rate.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stated this in Abuja during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 100th day briefing.
According to him, “There is no fixed date on schools’ resumption. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 is studying the situation, carrying out reviews every two and four weeks to access the situation and judge when it is safe.
“The Federal Government is taking very seriously the balance between safety and preventing disease explosion, and the opening of schools
We are encouraging schools to embrace online training and education as much as possible.
“As soon as the details are established and the risk of transmission is measured and established, then, schools will reopen.
“We are aware of what is happening in neighbouring countries through the organ known as the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO)
“Few days ago, we held an inter-ministerial meeting of the Ministers of health of the West African region to compare notes, review strategies, understand how others are tackling their problems, and reach a common ground on how to protect our region.
“We also consider how to do procurement together to reduce cost and how to share materials that we get from donations to the region.
“The protocol for border activities is also being studied. We have, through WAHO, worked out protocols on how border crossings will be conducted, particularly passenger transport.
“It has not been opened but we are working out the opening protocols and the measures that need to be taken for countries to protect themselves.”
He added: “Interstate travel is still prohibited but travels within the states are allowed. Non-essential travels should be postponed, delayed or cancelled for now.
“We also encourage local governments with high burden (called hot spots) to strictly follow the advisories, stay indoors, use masks, and also ensure that movements to those hotspots are restricted.”