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COVID-19: ASUU cautions against skepticism

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Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has cautioned Nigerians against treating COVID-19 pandemic with indifference and skepticism.

The warning is coming against backdrop of some smear campaigns on  social media.

National President of ASUU, Prof. BiodunOgunyemi, stated this today at the University of Ibadan, UI, during the formal launch and the presentation of COVID-19 Intervention Materials and SensitisationProgramme by the union.

According to him, Nigerians should not see the ravaging novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 as a disease affecting only the rich in the country and therefore gloat over the plight of the people that have contracted it.

Ogunyemi further stresses that anyone who does so is not only helping the virus to spread but also putting others at harm’s way, by creating a false sense of immunity against the disease in many people.

“The new pandemic, the coronavirus, has awakened our common humanity nationally and internationally.

It has suddenly dawned on us all – the rich and the poor, the highly and the lowly – that we are interconnected, and we either face our challenge in togetherness or we sink together.

Contrary to the misconception out there that COVID-19 is “a disease of the big people”, we live in shared community with many points of intersection – drivers and car owners, housekeepers and masters/mistresses, school teachers and parents, university students and professors, etc.

Pretending to be safe when the lives of others with whom we come into regular contacts are endangered is just playing the ostrich. The truth is: we are not safe, physically, socially or epidemiologically, until others around us are free from the decapitating effects of COVID-19 and other afflictions.

Rising to prevent and control the spread is, therefore, not just a matter of duty but the logical demand of our desire to live,” he said.

On on-going ASUU strike, Ogunyemisaid there will never be a time when industrial action would be approved by all the diverse interests connected with university education but the union must do the right thing at all times.

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