…I warned against re-opening schools — NMA President
…Take responsibility on cross-over services —LASG
…Why we allowed cross-over services in Oyo —Makinde
…Ogun bans cross-over services
By Sola Ogundipe, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Chioma Obinna, Deola Badru, James Ogunnaike & Luminous Jannamike
President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Prof Innocent Ujah, yesterday, said his counsel against the reopening of schools in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 was seen as being against the progress of the nation’s education sector.
This came as the World Health Organisation, WHO, warned that the world should prepare for a more deadly virus than the coronavirus, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic was serving as a wake-up call.
Meanwhile, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, approved the suspension of the 12am to 4 am curfew earlier imposed on states by FG, saying that officials of the State’s Task Force on Covid-19 would ensure strict compliance to the guidelines and advisories.
But the Ogun State government banned crossover services in all worship centres across the state.
Decrying the infection rates on school children, Ujah said: “When the government wanted to reopen the schools, I cautioned them and said if the schools must be reopened, there must be necessary preparation to prevent the children from contracting the virus.
“One parent wrote the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 that I don’t want people to go to school and that I was being wicked. Now, we all know better, a lot of children who sat for the last WASSCE were infected.”
Ujah lamented that some corp members have also been infected. “These are some of the things that could have been prevented if sufficient precautions were taken before reopening the schools.”
He also lamented the disregard for social distancing by Nigerians, saying this had also contributed to the rising Covid-19 cases.
He explained that social or physical distancing has failed. “Recall that during the campaign for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, people were falling over each other. If you go to the market places, social distancing protocol is not being observed. In that case, are we prepared?
He posited that the country needs to do a lot of sensitisation to ensure that Nigerians comply with all the Covid-19 protocols.
Pandemic deadlier than Covid-19 coming — WHO
WHO’s Head of Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan, who disclosed this, yesterday, .aid although the Covid19 pandemic has been very severe, it was not yet the big one.
Ryan who spoke at a press conference, noted: “This is a wake-up call. We are learning, now, how to do things better: science, logistics, training and governance, how to communicate better. But the planet is fragile.
“We live in an increasingly complex global society. These threats will continue. If there is one thing we need to take from this pandemic, with all of the tragedy and loss, is we need to get our act together. We need to honour those we’ve lost by getting better at what we do every day.
“This pandemic has been very severe; it has affected every corner of this planet. But this is not necessarily the big one,” he stated.
Ogun bans crossover services
On his part, Governor Dapo Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kunle Somorin, said that the directives were issued after a meeting between the state government and religious leaders from the League of Imams and the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, as well as community leaders as part of the measures and guidelines for public health as the state prepares for a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor directed that all bars, nightclubs, pubs and event centres, recreational centres in the state have also been closed down indefinitely.
The statement reads: “To stem the spread of the second wave of the disease, Governor Abiodun advised that there should be no gatherings of more than 50 people at any event or ceremonies, such as conferences, congresses, office events, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, cross-over nights, end of year parties, weddings, naming, birthdays, anniversaries, street carnivals, etc until further notice.
“For religious centres, the League of Imams and the Christian leaders adopted the earlier positions taken in the wake of COVID-19 earlier in the year such as all worship activities must be observed by not more than 50percent of capacity.
“All congregants must wear their face masks appropriately (that is, No facemask, No entry). There should be reliable sources of running water.
“Worship centres should be adequately cleaned and disinfected before and after services”
“There should be the provision of alcohol-based sanitiser which must be used before and at intervals of every 20 minutes as well as after service.
But Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Ogun State has directed all Christian worship centres to close cross over service by 11 pm.
Take responsibility on crossoverservice —LASG
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government urged residents and religious leaders to take responsibility by complying with all safety measures imposed by relevant authorities aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 amid the second wave of the virus.
State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, made the call, yesterday, urged all churches in the state to respect the curfew in place and avoid physical crossover services and large gatherings on December 31, 2020.
Omotoso said, “What the state government is saying and interested in for all churches to take responsibility against the spread of Covid-19 by staying away from large gatherings of people which could easily spike infection of the virus which is already in its deadlier second wave.
“The state government, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been calling for the need to comply to all safety protocols regarding Covid-19.