NCDC Finally Speaks On School Reopening


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has raised some hope on the opening of schools shut due to coronavirus scares.

Many see the reopening of the schools in the nearest future as a slim dream based on how COVID-19 continues to penetrate.

But the Director-General (DG), of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said on Monday that the education sector was part of those being discussed.

“But how do we move from the narrative of a lockdown to a narrative of a safe re-opening so that people can go back to their livelihoods, why still staying safe from this virus?

“How do we do that in the farms, markets, schools, in transports, our offices and in aviation? Really this has to be our focus in the coming weeks, to provide guidance for businesses to take responsibility and re-open safely,” he said.

Ihekweazu said that there were no easy answers, neither could all the answers come from NCDC alone, but from all Nigerians to also help in giving directions to the country.

“But I was happy to hear the efforts being made by the aviation industry, the detail thinking that has started to happen in order to eventually re-start.

“Similar conversations are going on in the education sector, and I have the privilege to some of those.”

During the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 briefing, Iheakweazu said President Muhammadu Buhari, had expressed concerns over re-opening of the economy, when the PTF briefed him on the public health response to COVID-19 in the country.

He said that a consensus was reached that Nigerians might have to live with the pandemic up to months in the forseeable future.

“It will be much easier for Mr President, that when we visit him in the next two weeks with a narrative that we are ready to re-open safely, it will make his decisions easier,” he said.

Ihekweazu, however, said that the biggest challenge was how Nigerians could ensure that small businesses opened safely.

“We must take every step in a deliberate and calculative manner, due to what we have on ground with our healthcare, in order to give our people succour.

“Industries and enterprises will be given guidelines of what they need to put in place when issuing out phase two strategy of the lockdown ease,” he stated.

In her remarks, Dr Fiona Braka, the Officer in Charge, World Health Organisation (WHO), Country Office, explained Multi-system inflammatory disorder in Children.

Braka said that recent information from Europe had described the ailment as acute illness found in children and adolescents that often sent them into shock.

She, however, said that experts were still looking into the cause and the risk factors.

The country Rep also disclosed that new guidelines, intended for healthcare professionals, were now available on the WHO website.

“Most cases will recover after a period of two weeks,” she explained.