Students and teachers in Ekiti State would be picked for random sampling test for the COVID-19 infection ahead of the reopening of schools in the state, Governor Kayode Fayemi said on Wednesday.
The Governor stated this in a state broadcast on Wednesday, expressing optimism that COVID-19 protocols would be strictly adhered to as SS3 class preparing for West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exam resume August 10.
Fayemi however said the resumption date for JSS 3 students and Primary 6 pupils would be announced later, while also directing that parents of the resuming students were to provide their wards with at least two face masks each as a prerequisite for admission into their school premises.
Expressing concerns over the increase in the rate of infection in the last one month in the state with 109 fresh cases, Governor Fayemi advised the people of the state to learn from his COVID-19 infection and accept the reality of the pandemic.
He also recalled that Ekiti State had 43 positive cases with 28 treated and discharged while only 13 were active cases at the beginning of July but the state now has a total number of 152 cases at last count, an increase of 109 cases in one month.
He however attributed the increase in cases to the random community testing exercise which was made possible with facilities at the state-owned laboratory and the proximity to States with high incidences of confirmed infections.
According to him, lessons have been learnt from his experience with his own infection and isolation for ten days.
He said: “The fact that I could contract the virus in spite of the conscious effort to protect myself and people around me underscores my consistent warnings that we should never take things for granted. It also proves that indeed the virus is real and here, and that it is a respecter of no persons.
“That is why I have always maintained that we cannot be vigilant enough until we have collectively come to the end of this pandemic. I therefore implore you, dear compatriots, to take extra measures to ensure that you keep yourself safe.
“The second lesson to learn from my experience is that the virus is not a death sentence. The key weapons is early detection (through testing), isolation and treatment. From our experience, we have successfully treated and discharged 67 cases in Ekiti today while we still have about 83 active cases.”
Speaking on the reopening of worship centres, the governor said: “The Task Force leadership have told me that many religious worship centres are now ready and should be able to reopen for service according to the established protocols from August 14, 2020.
“I want to appeal to religious centres as moral agents and institutions reputed for discipline. They must ensure the jointly agreed protocols are adhered to, to protect lives of worshipers as they go about their activities from August 14, 2020.
“Key aspects of the protocols include but are not limited to the following: fumigation of the worship centres and their surroundings, maintenance of social distancing of six-feet apart during worship, provision of infrared thermometer, provision of hand sanitizers and ensuring the windows and doors are wide open.
“The protocols also implicate that there should be no multiple services, and services must be concluded within two hours while children below 12 years of age and elderly people above 65 are not allowed to attend services or Salat until further notice. An attendance register must be provided by each worship centre to record attendance.
“For the avoidance of doubt, only Friday Jumat for Muslims, Saturday Sabbath for Adventists and Sunday Services for other Christian denominations are allowed. Weekly and vigil services are not to hold in the meanwhile. Similarly all traditional worships of festivals that demand large gathering of devotees are suspended until further notice.”
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