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Corps members decry none compliance with COVID-19 guidelines in Oyo

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Some members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) on Monday decried none compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and protocols at the ongoing orientation programme.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the orientation camp for Batch ‘B’ Stream I, was opened for the prospective corps members on July 27 at the Oyo State NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Gbakuta, Iseyin.

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They told NAN on condition of anonymity at the swearing-in ceremony on Monday that the camp’s officials have not been observing the guidelines and protocols as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

One of them said: “I stay in Ajimobi Hall A; if you visit the place, you will think that we are in prison or abandoned barracks. The situation is the same with Ajimobi Hall B, C and D.

‘When we arrived in the camp, they conducted a test for us and we got our results almost immediately. How is that possible?

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“Honestly, I don’t know. Since we got here we have been mixing with one another freely and without restriction.

“Go to Maami Market, go to our kitchen and other strategic places, you will see how we are mingling as if there is COVID-19.

“If you don’t have access to those places, look at this parade and see the numbers of corps members, who are wearing masks, even without social distancing.

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“That’s how we have been living here since Tuesday we came. I don’t think this is proper, even the NYSC officials don’t wear masks,” he said.

A female corps member said the hostel conditions at the camp were not in conformity with the COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

“When you are coming in now, I’m sure they will ask you to wash your hands, pretending as if we are observing the protocols.

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“Please come to our hostels, come to our markets, come to our parade ground and see things for yourself.

“I’m hoping and praying that the Delta variants of COVID-19 will not find their ways into our camp, because we are not really observing the protocols and the guidelines, it’s unfortunate,” she said.

Another corps member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she was not aware that any corps member was turned back for testing positive to COVID-19.

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She, however, said that the female's hostel, in spite of the pandemic, was full to capacity.

“Our hostels are full to capacity, to the extent that some have to place their mattresses in the corridors.

“I can’t see any social distancing rules here since I came on Wednesday afternoon.

“Though they conducted COVID-19 test and have our results ready almost immediately, and then, they assumed that everyone here is fine.

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“I think that is very dangerous; personally, I always put on my nose mask, as you can see.

“It is not because they will sanction me for not using it because NYSC officials themselves are not using masks.

When asked on the numbers of prospective corps members that were turned back for testing positive to COVID-19, Mrs Grace Obguogebe, the NYSC State Coordinator, denied the reports.

Obguogebe said it was not within her power to turn back anyone who wanted to serve.

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“Of all the news available here, it is COVID-19 news and positive cases that you are interested in.

“I think you should go and ask the NCDC for that, besides, we didn’t turn anyone back,” she said.

Obguogebe, had earlier addressed the 2,165 corps members, comprising 899 males and 1,266 females that registered as at 12 midnight of Aug. 1.

“For the orientation course, we have put in place interesting and exciting programmes and activities like lectures, sports, social and SAED programme aimed at empowering them with a skill.

“You are encouraged to contribute immensely your quota toward the sustainable development of the nation and the state in particular, especially in the area of Community Development Service (CDS),” she said.

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