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FG gives fresh updates on school resumption

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THE Federal Government has condemned demands for students to present results of their coronavirus test before they could be allowed to return to the classroom by some states.

  The National Coordinator, Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, disclosed this during briefing in Abuja.

  According to the PTF coordinator on school reopening updates, the idea of some states mandating pupils to do COVID-19 test before they could be allowed to return to the classroom was not necessary.

  “Regarding the cost for students who are testing for COVID-19, our protocol is very clear when it comes to indications for testing and it is also important to realise that when you do a COVID-19 test, if you get a negative result, it is only valid for that period of time – for that point in time when you have taken it.” Aliyu stated.

  Continuing, “the next day, you could have a positive result especially if you are in an incubation period. Therefore, the validity of a negative test is quite limited.”

  The PTF boss said it is “far more important to monitor” every resuming pupil for symptoms of coronavirus than making negative COVID-19 test result a requirement for each pupil to return to the classroom.

  It was earlier reported that parents of pupils in private secondary schools in Ogun State on Sunday, August 2, kicked against the request of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee by the government.

  The national coordinator of PTF, in  a reaction countered that a negative COVID-19 test result is only valid for the moment it was conducted.

  He urged school administrators to rather watch out for symptoms of the virus among pupils and ask such pupils to seek medical attention.

  “It is far more important to monitor for symptoms, to check for temperature, to make sure students that have symptoms like cough or any other respiratory symptoms are told to stay back at home, and seek medical attention. It will be far more useful than doing the COVID-19 test before they resume.” The PTF Coordinator said.

 He further stressed that those who are most vulnerable to the virus are the elderly.

 “It’s not really the young ones who will be an issue but the old ones. When we protect ourselves, we also protect our loved ones who could be put in an unsafe condition,” he noted.

  Meanwhile, the media had previously reported that the decision of the Ogun state government to impose a mandatory N25,000 payment for COVID-19 and malaria tests for returning boarding students in private schools sparked protests among parents.

  It was reported that the Senior Secondary three students (SS3) were expected to resume school ahead of their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), but the government mandated each student to undergo a test as a precondition for resumption into school.

  It will be recalled that the government had initially taken a position that no boarding school student would be admitted into schools without a certificate of COVID-19 test which must be negative.

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