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Stay-at-home order for workers raises concern in Kano

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The fresh stay-at-home order for civil servants in Kano State is raising concern on safety of students who have just resumed a new term. Kano State Government, yesterday, imposed fresh ban on viewing and event centres across the state following the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Muhammadu Garba, had directed civil servants to remain at home till further notice due to the pandemic. Garba said the measure was part of decisions at a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Africa House, Kano, on Monday.

Although, the statement was silent on whether workers in public schools were affected by the order, the Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, disclosed that schools would remain open, a development presently generating concern.

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“Schools will continue with normal activities because we have made adequate preventive measures in line with COVID-19 safety protocols. I have spoken with the governor and he has given us the go-ahead with academic activities.

“Government has provided face masks and hand sanitisers to schools, and we expect parents to make similar provision to ensure their children are well protected. So, what I can confirm is that the stay-at-home directive to civil servants in the state will not affect schools,” Kiru noted.

Public and private schools in Kano resumed academic activities on Monday as instructed by the state government. Reacting to the development, an activist, Aisha Tijani, lamented that such policy needed to be re-evaluated in the interest of public health.

Tijani, who insisted that schools remained a major breeding ground for COVID-19, if not properly managed, equally wondered why schools would exclusively be exempted when children were naturally vulnerable.

“Until government clearly makes public the rationale used and to what extent such consideration is justifiable on excepting schools, we may be left with no option than to fault the government policy.

“Everyone knows the impact of the virus and how it has continued to wreak havoc in the society. But if leaving the schools open is another preventive measure, I would say it is not well-thought-out because we all know that schools are another soft target for easy spread of the virus,” she added.

A lecturer with Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Dr. Suraj Mohammad, equally considered government’s directive as inconsistent. The don maintained that if the government was sincere enough about the health condition of people of Kano, the directive should not exempt schools where the virus could easily proliferate.

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