The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, has recommended that schools send home any child with respiratory symptoms consistent with the coronavirus to reduce the risk of transmission.
“Following some of the issues that we had with Lagos State with outbreaks in some of the schools, we would like to re-emphasize adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions by schools and in particular detection and increased awareness with regarding COVID-19, “Dr. Aliyu said on Monday.
‘Any student exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, particularly respiratory symptoms or fever, should not be able to come to school.
‘When teachers notice a child with respiratory symptoms, the child should be sent home, so that we can reduce the risk of transmission. Just as important to the need to communicate effectively with parents, staff, school health teams and the creation of protocols and the provision of regular updates on any changes to school procedures in relation to COVID .
‘We encourage schools to continue to consider creative solutions to meet our COVID guidelines, including tiered learning to avoid overcrowding, squad, daily attendance and adjustment of teachings, etc.’
He said that 60 percent of inbound travelers who paid for the mandatory PCR test but don’t show up for the test seven days after arriving in the country will not be able to travel for the next six months.
‘I want to raise the issue of international travel. As we know, we are approaching a very busy season, in which we see an increase in passenger travel. The goal of the PTF for the next several weeks is to discourage travel, especially non-essential travel. We want to flatten that increase in passenger travel that we see every year around December. Why? Due to COVID-19. COVID-19 has changed the world, the way we interact, the way we deliver our services and it also has to change the way we travel.
“We are actively discouraging non-essential travel. Essential travel is if you have to travel for study, work, humanitarian services, travel to support critical infrastructure, economic services, and maintenance of supply chain arrangements. Outside of this, if you don’t need to travel, stay where you are during this period.
‘Right now, we are seeing a lot of travel restrictions in Europe and elsewhere, if the numbers continue to rise and we notice the importation of infections, we will review our policy. I am not saying that we will ban flights, but I am also saying that we will do whatever it takes to protect ourselves from a surge.
‘So if you don’t want to be stranded, whether in Nigeria or out of the country, think again about traveling during this period. If it’s not essential, stay put. There will be other seasons, there will be other celebrations, especially with vaccines now available across the board, trips are most likely to be ordered so all testing and monitoring will go away. Once we have effective vaccinations, I am sure the travel community will soon enforce rules on the need for vaccination, so once you are vaccinated there are highly unlikely to be any restrictions. So all these inconveniences are for a short period of time.
“In terms of the guarantees we want to give the country, Nigeria has one of the strictest systems in terms of double testing. You have to do a PVR test no more than five days before shipment and you have to repeat the test on day seven. When it comes to COVID testing, no more than five days before embarking for Nigeria and you have to repeat the test after seven days.
“We have been doing this for several passengers, as the president explained previously. But 60 percent of those who paid didn’t even show up on the seventh. You give your money, you pay for a service but you don’t even show up. So we are not interested in the money because nothing goes to PTF, NCDC or any federal parastatal if you pay for the test.
‘The money goes to the laboratories and a small percentage goes to state governments, as well as the banks that run the portal. So, we are not interested in your money; what interests us is the status of your COVID-19 when you enter the country.
‘Do you have COVID-19? If so, we have to take steps to isolate it and we have to protect our population. If you have COVID-19, you come out of quarantine on the seventh.
‘We are going to enforce this in the coming days. Now we have the list of the first 300 passengers who have not done the test until the 14th, we are going to expedite these results and create a COVID-19 restriction list for passengers who have not complied with our protocols and these passengers will not It will allow you to fly for a period of six months. We hope we don’t have to keep doing this and people will continue to abide by our protocol.
Like I said, this is a short time measure, even the test itself is a short time measure. Eventually, all these travel tests will stop as soon as we have an alternative that is safe, like vaccinations.
“So the message is: stay home, it is the best way to protect yourself and others and please do not play Russian roulette with your family members.”