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COVID-19 testing of students before resumption not compulsory, says PTF


Nigeria’s Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 said testing of students before resumption is not compulsory while the country continues to battle the global pandemic.

“The PTF does not recommend testing of students before they resume school,” PTF national coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu said on Wednesday while briefing journalists.

Aliyu, however, said there should be strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols and a behavioural change to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Minister for state education Emeka Nwajiuba in May had issued guidelines for all schools in the country in preparatory for their reopening.

Nwajiuba said all schools must ensure compliance to social distancing, provision and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and the compulsory use of face masks to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The Nigerian Government on Monday reopened secondary schools for students in exit classes to prepare for the West African Examination (WAEC) due to start on Monday, August 17 2020.

A spokesman for the education ministry Ben Ben Goog said the decision to reopen the school was reached at a virtual consultative meeting between the Federal Ministry of Education, commissioners of education of the 36 states, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, (NUT), the proprietors of private schools, and Chief Executives of examination bodies.

Chairman of the PTF Boss Mustapha at the press briefing on Thursday, however, said personal responsibility should be the utmost priority for students and all citizens as the country extended the current phase of easing lockdown by four weeks.

“The disruption COVID-19 has caused in our lives will continue for a while but our resilient spirit will pull us through,” Mustapha said.

Currently, Nigeria has 44,890 confirmed cases of coronavirus according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with 457 new cases as at Wednesday 11:40 pm.

NCDC said 32,165 coronavirus patients have been treated and discharged. However, 927 persons have died of the global pandemic across 36 states of the country.

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