COVID-19: FG faults reopening of schools, viewing centres by govs/ Boss Mustapha

The Federal Government has called out the decision of some state governors to reopen schools as well as viewing centres amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Recall that Cross River State government has announced schools would reopen in the state on June 16 while Kano State also lifted the ban on viewing centres.

In the same vein, Oyo had on Monday announced that final year students can resume school as from June 29.

But reacting to the development on Monday, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said such move would undermine ongoing efforts to combat the novel disease in the country.

He said: “We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadium and other places where large gatherings could take place. The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guideline should still be complied with while considering decision of this nature.”

The PTF boss called on state governments to embark on wider community testing, enforce rules on social distancing, step up community engagement and risk communication and pay attention to places of large gatherings.

He added that PTF was concerned about the escalation of non-compliance with simple measures to keep social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene.

Mustapha added: “This is more prevalent in markets, motor parks and some places of worship. I wish to remind you that the PTF has already issued guidelines for mode of operations at places of worship and urge state governments to ensure strict compliance with PTF guidelines.

“We wish to re-emphasise that all relaxed measures are still subject to review and advisories issued are for personal and public safety purposes. The  breach of the ban on interstate travel is also a point of concern.”